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.
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
How she was when we came here,
How she has grown, expanded,
Through thirty-nine summers.
The memories, birthdays, weddings;
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.
The sun melts its glorious golden death
In the rearview mirror.