Strawberry Hill Apartment in March 2015. (Google Maps)

Creative Writing

Poem: The House on Strawberry Hill

A poem by Aanandi Thakur
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/aanandithakur/" target="_self">Aanandi Thakur</a>

Aanandi Thakur

September 2, 2022

The House on Strawberry Hill

an inflorescence of colors, my medium. 

the clean blank walls, my canvas. 

little hands gaily held however many crayons they could find. 

smiling with the sudden freedom that rushed into my soul,

a wave of cool on a warm summer night — Gliding 

up and down seventeen stairs, tracing the story of my past and creating worlds of 

my future as though clashing together at the crest.

magnificent creatures. 

one fiery red, another an emerald green. through their glistening scales, 

encircling in yin and yang with all other colors in between. 

The creation of a New World, pulling me into a haze of harsh light. 

my scribbles were never messy to me, 

they were beautiful. 

beauty in the simple fact that they were of my creation. 

 

then came the day that was all snatched away. 

the alluring birds of my making, freshly released, 

had been brutally shot down. 

it was the day I learned Evil is a person. 

Evil is our charwoman.

 

For with the snap of her left hand, the right holding a cigar, 

my childhood was wiped away.

 

the string that held me up, that made me stronger‒

looped over and over to form 

the place I called home‒was cut. 

perfect expression and identity, 

my greatest creation, one that I spent a whole of 

ten minutes 

on, 

now but a deserted wall, desolate. 

brooding in the misery of plainness. 

by the time Evil was done with our house, 

there was not a single trace of my past, of me. 

in less than five hours, five years of my life had been obliterated. 

Dragons, slain.

 

Hill of Strawberries. 

that is where I had lived. 

it meant long walks on starry nights. 

conversing with the white cotton balls that were my closest friends. 

it meant the first day of kindergarten. 

sleighing down our sad excuse for an avalanche and neighborhood snowball fights. 

it meant many bruises while learning to ride a bicycle and my sister’s first steps, 

the feeling of the coarse red brick under my fingertips as I circled our compound, 

searching for more. 

it meant happiness. 

moving on to bigger, unsure of its better.

now, gazing at my new walls. a searing, pale gray, 

sure sign of warning. 

no longer the Home I had known. 

this was what I had wanted, but I would give anything to go back:

single crayon in hand, lining my past with what was then my future,

over and over until colorless ceased to exist.  

listening to an echo of what could have been,

the echo of a small, old, house 

at the corner of Kingsgate Drive: 

The house on strawberry hill.