Selling Up

I stop-start through Friday hometime,

nose to tail across town.

The car park is emptying at the store,

I grab bunches of flowers, a small potted plant.

Arriving, the sign is fixed to the gate post.

For Sale.

Reality check.

Inside a sense of order,

Best foot forward,

An elderly maiden aunt decked in finery

For a public occasion.

Scrubbed, tidied and weeded,

Decked with blooms,

She looks beautiful, hopeful.

I imagine those who will come to view,

wanting to show them everything

She means.

How she was when we came here,

How she has grown, expanded,

Through thirty-nine summers.

The memories, birthdays, weddings;

Funerals.

The Christmases and celebrations.

Seeing them again, superimposed,

Layered, ghosts of memory.

We cannot keep her,

She is too big, and empty now,

leaving us heartsore, her keeper gone.

A family home needs a family,

And we are grown and flown.

Flowers and instructions left

I reverse from the drive.

Heading homewards

The sun melts its glorious golden death

In the rearview mirror.

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