Letter to my childhood home, for an Art House Co-op project. Transcription follows.
You were old already before I knew you, before we changed the orange shag carpets and turned the upstairs bedroom into a haven of pink hearts for my sister and me. But you seem older now, when I come by and see the old barn gone and the orchards burned black.
Do you remember the sound as we stampeded across three rooms to answer the phone? The dogs going off like bottle rockets every time a raccoon crept through the yard (it was often)?
And what happened to your ghosts, my sweet? Did you finally purge them? Perhaps they were gone already by the time I left. Or perhaps instead they pulled out the top drawer in the wall of the downstairs closet and slipped into the secret room—that space between the walls, full of cobwebs and mouse bones—to wait for more children to come.
Now that you shall be leaving our family soon, I don’t know what will become of you. Will they tear you down, or just transform you into an unrecognizably sterile semi-rural paradise for someone richer than we ever were? Your fate is mine. A part of my soul faded into your walls, and it can’t be painted over.
May the mice crawl you forever.
Ever yours, Kris