I still remember exactly what cupboard the cereal was in,
I remember who sat in which chair at the head of the dinner table,
I remember the sounds of the kitchen floor creaking,
The sounds of the street outside at midnight.
I remember the feeling I got when I walked down the stairs to my bedroom,
How the air shifted to cold as soon as you got to the last step.
I remember the yellow countertop in the bathroom,
The way the shower sounded as the door clicked open and closed,
The way I felt like I was completely alone as long as my bedroom door was shut.
The smell of the air while sitting on the trampoline til the wee hours of the night,
My memories were made there, my memories they stay there,
In that house.
The house where I grew up, the house that sheltered me, and the house that destroyed me all the same,
I remember most of the people who walked in and out of those doors,
The animals I loved and lost,
The fights, the laughs, the noise,
Chaos was our normal, and that was okay.
I remember how it looked like a gingerbread house with the Christmas lights all hung up,
Especially when it snowed.
I remember water gun fights during the summer on our empty street,
Feeling safe in our neighbourhood, and safe meeting neighbors,
Playing in the dirt when the construction workers went home for the day,
Trying to level the ground every single summer for the Costco pool,
The balcony covered inch by inch with beautiful flowers,
The air conditioner making the living room into an icebox,
I don’t want to forget these things.
This house I once called my home,
Someone else lives there now, and the happiness and memories that once belonged there,
Don’t live there anymore.
I am responsible for taking them with me where I go,
But sometimes that’s too painful,
I remember the hearts in the slats on the balcony,
Eating the chives that grew wild in the backyard,
Chasing cats down the hallways and dressing them in baby clothes,
Drawing pictures and creating art,
Doing my homework at the dining room table,
Walking up the giant hill to school.
I don’t miss the spiders, or the smell in the furnace room,
Although I will always remember the endless amounts of extra whole wheat pasta noodles,
And presidents choice cookies that we had stocked in the pantry,
Running up and down stairs as punishment,
Cleaning the bathroom for 5 dollars,
Our house was the gathering place,
It’s where people came for comfort, for sanctuary, for celebration and gatherings,
It was safe, it was loving, and it was home,
Now it’s tucked away in a box inside of me stuffed to the brim with memories,
They slowly pour out of me so secretly sometimes I don’t even notice.