Two poems about this move. I think we fail to honor these kinds of changes enough, so these poems are my attempts at honoring this transition.
To leave this place with lilacs in bloom
would, once, have been unthinkable:
I am packing candles in the dining room.
Beneath the kitchen window, at the back door,
front door, and brushing my bedroom window
purple and white profusion spills
toward the ground, the blooms heavy
in May rain. Two years I pruned
at just the right moment, being greedy,
taking lilacs to grace my table, my lovers;
stealing the scent before it drifted
to the old man who sits on his porch.
Now my reward: doing dishes held by scent,
smiling neighbors passing by and
perfect welcomes on leaving this house.
Someone new will stop, weary and lost,
open the gate, and feel the caress
of splendid excess, a bicolored bacchanal:
white and purple stars clustered like nebulae,
and smell something almost like love.
She will lift her chin and breathe.
This house is looking empty.
Books in boxes.
Pictures in drawers, padded
by sweatshirts and jeans.
Glassware and china
all gone, boxed,
to be moved, intact,
to a new home.
Poems, drafts and drafts,
in files, in drawers,
to be hefted by sweating
stevedores onto a truck
where they will stay the night
and then come to the new house.
How can a life,
so changed by just three years here,
be moved away with such ease?
How can a house
where so much love happened,
be passed to the hands
of others to care for?
Tonight, sweet Jerry
came for a key.
Stroking Ben's back, he said,
"We love this house."
And I nearly wept for joy.
I want love in these walls.