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.
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
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.
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.