Our New House - Sarah Davis

In our new house

the carpet was red

and thick, perfect for children

because it would be so hard to get dirty;

I skinned my knees on it even before we brought in the furniture.

In our new house

we held dance parties,

Bob Marley and all my Dad’s favorites

blaring from the speakers.

We jumped on the furniture and danced like crazed monkeys,

sometimes playing games where Dad picked us up and threw us.

Mom always said it would end in tears;

she was almost always right.

In our new house

we had a playplace

all wood and plastic tarps,

with swings and a steering wheel on top.

The bees nested there in the summer,

so we had to learn to coexist. I painted the outside with mud

using leaves for paintbrushes and the creek for my palette

unicolor Pollock on pine boards.

In our old house,

we changed the carpets out to beige,

its softer now, but it gets dirty so easy

we’re always cleaning.

In our old house,

Dad still puts on the music,

but we’re far too big to throw.

Dad gets tired from dancing,

so we sit together and listen.

Sometimes my brother and sister don’t come down from their rooms

so I dance without them,

let my body flow in a stream of music.

I dance the same way to every song,

I don’t have many moves.

In our old house,

we sold the playhouse to some kids in Illinois.

The tarps that made the roof were pretty ratty and moth bitten,

but dad used older pictures on the Ebay listing.

We have a garden there now, with a bench no one ever sits on,

because it faces our house, not the trees. It’s paint is chipping

and it already collapsed once, but the bees still like it,

especially since there are plenty of flowers now.

Most are weeds, but we let it grow as it wants,

no one really minds if it looks unkempt,

I think it actually looks better that way.

A lot of our old neighbors have moved to Florida.

I miss when we used to light campfires in our backyard,

a ring of them drinking beer and talking about grown up things,

then more and more kid things as the night progressed.

We still get their Christmas cards,

it makes me sad how grey they look in their bright sweaters;

I’m glad they’re safe from the cold.

Like me, all the other kids are in college now,

I see their posts on social media,

in togas and jerseys.

I see the bumper stickers on their cars.

I used to know about them, their favorite colors, books

how fast they could ride their bikes up the hill.

I don’t really know them at all now;

like me, they’re probably the same,

completely different.

I miss when I could walk up my street

and everything felt entirely new.

It was unexplored and ripe for adventure

not soppy with memories and sighs of days gone.

I look at the lamp posts now and still see the fogging breath

as we raced to huddle around it, our meeting spot, illuminated in the growing dusk

before we’d be called back home.

I know I’ll never be able to make memories again

like the ones I made here, in our old brick house,

that kid doesn’t exist in me, only echoes of her laughs

and muddy relics are left to be discovered,

carefully maintained in the museum of our crawlspace.

I feel hollow sometimes for the lack of her,

though she had to be evicted for me to move in.

Still, traces left in our old house linger,

and will linger until I too am replaced.

Sarah Davis is a Junior studying psychology, history, and Spanish. She has always wanted to be a writer, and enjoys short fiction and poetry. Sarah hopes to become a professor one day.

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