Old House

"There's woodworm, "
the surveyor's report screamed at us
"There's a big crack by the front door"
"It needs re-wiring"
"The roof leaks"
Strangely, he didn't mention the damp
In the gable wall
Though you could smell it in the stair cupboard
And could see the electrical system the owners had installed
To try to counter it

"We've bought old houses before, " we said
"We can deal with that"

It still got us down when we moved in
The depressing colour schemes were worse
Especially in the meagre winter daylight
Dingy dark tones
Ceilings in deep colours
Maroon and navy
Walls clawing in claustrophobically
In jail-like stripes and acid hues
Then the piling of furniture and possessions
Into room after room
As we re-decorated

We started to wonder what we had seen in the house
With the long jungle-grown garden

But gradually
As we fought the war against dinge and decay
As we re-painted room after room
Choosing light colours for the walls
White for the ceilings
To reflect as much light as possible
The transformation began
It became a different place
Light, airy, open, easy
It was ours

Thursday, December 28, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: change,house,life,remembrance
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