By Camille S. Campbell
If houses could talk,
would they slam the door when you’re moving out?
When you pack boxes,
would they creak, begging you not to leave?
When you paint over old doodles on the walls,
does the plaster crack like tears?
They’re hurt when you talk about the bigger house,
the upgrade you’re leaving them for, like a tossed away lover.
You once took care of them.
You wiped off the dust on the wood cabinets,
You repaired the roof when it ached,
You called it your Forever Home.
The old house wonders if it will love the new family just as much.
Will it get accustomed to their complaints of repairs?
The furniture they cram in, the new scratches on the floor, the screaming baby.
Maybe with renovations, a little part of its heart will let in the new family,
opening a new door of its life.
Yet a little nook of your house will carry memories of you,
within the wooden planks, like the rings of an old willow tree,
on the walls that once held wedding pictures and family photos,
inside the cabinets and closets that still have a few things that you left behind.
Because your house will always love you,
even when you move on and away.
Normally we think of the connection as a bond between people or with the animal. But there is another form of connection—the one we may develop with the place we lived in for a while and call our home. Sometimes, we compare other houses to our own, complain about repairs and are happy to move to an “upgraded” house. What would our houses say in response to the criticisms or how would they feel if we’d move away? I answered that hypothetical question in my poem, “If Houses Could Talk.” When my family and I moved to a different state, I couldn’t help but wonder how the new family is living in our old house and what new memories they are making. This compelled me to write a poem about the personification of houses.
“If Houses Could Talk” very recently won a silver key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition (2021).