Little Old House by Lauren Suchenski

photo of piano keys

“Piano Keys” (image via Flickr user Victoria Henderson)

Little old house, I drove past you. I angled past your pale blue paint, cracking from age and weathering from time. I drove past those windows – the ones I used to look out, stand in, glare at, think of, close the shutters, open the blinds, let the light in, close my eyes to the stars. I saw that someone had planted new mulch. Someone has taken that fallen apart bit of rubble of a house and has claimed it again. Painted the porch fresh white daylily cream. Someone is going to live a new life. That house will know me still. I drove past the bushes where once I laid and lay and lapped up light and sun. I drove past all those voices, the starry remembrances of the people who had beautiful things to say in those walls. I drove past the walls, past the old granite countertop, past the raucous piano playing at 2am, past the swollen laughter leached into the walls, past the rainy afternoons in March that still glisten on the windowpanes. I drove past the little ways we all loved each other. The way that family buckled and burned. The way my brother and I held each other’s hand and made it through hell and back again. The way my mother and I cried together. I drove past my cousin, laughing incessantly at silly stories and sideways glances and people piled in puddles in front of screens. I drove past myself, saw myself, left myself there, gathered myself up, put myself back together, piled myself into my car. It took about 1.5 seconds to drive past. I slowed down, as much as I could. I glared at the pale blue paint the way it used to glare at me. I felt time moving like ancient fingers. My baby’s cry broke the silence. My baby sat in the back seat and knew not who I was. Knew nothing of this pale blue paint. He mumbled jitter jatter to himself and I drove past my little old house.

Lauren Suchenski is a fragment sentence-dependent, ellipsis-loving writer who lives somewhere where the trees change color. Her poetry has recently appeared in Gambling the Aisle, Dark Matter Journal, Red Fez, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Black Elephant Literary Journal, Stoneboat Literary Magazine, The Soap Box, Centum Press, Unbroken Journal, and Five 2 One Magazine, among others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her first collection of poems “Full of Ears and Eyes Am I” (Finishing Line Press) is due out later this year. You can find more of her poetry at @_laurel_hill on Instagram or @laurensuchenski on Twitter.