Monday, November 29, 2010

The Summer House

Every autumn we leave something of ourselves
in the summer house. For two days we straighten things up,
then we give in, tossing our junk into
drawers and cupboards, lock the door and walk away
from the house that lies now like a hushed beacon
We come back a few times in the winter
breaking into the dozing locked-down space
breathy in the membranous light. There is the cry of a bird
and faint smells of the lake in the hallway,
the vibrant light of the sea
washing steps, these things dream their own life
encased in a sun-warmed sheath of shadows
projected in restive images over the walls and roof
The last one to lock up must have left his shadow
somewhere behind the blind, dark, doomed roads
And the spaces we left behind us resemble in our memories,
the whispering sweep of the sea. High-ceilinged skies
like the day spring arrives and we open the locked door
knowing the spring’s own summer, its puffs of wind
gusting towards us

-- Stein Mehren, who came to England on the boat with his mother and my Mamma in 1950

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