The House

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
April 2019

By Anya Geist

2019-4-the-house-text-image

 

The cicadas chirp a lullaby to the night.

Their buzzing seems obtrusive at first

But grows to be comforting and content.

Inside, the tiled floor sits cold with all its rivets and dips.

Shutters are locked shut to the windows,

Hatches battened down,

Giving the impression of the quarters of a ship

Sailing through the long, dry grasses of Southern France.

In the beige bedroom, I lie on the twin bed, my shoulder leaning against the wall.

My friend lies across the room, snoring peacefully.

Outside, down the hallway, the fifth bedroom lays vacant.

The other three are occupied, their doors shut tightly.

The steep, tiled stairs lead the way down to the first floor,

Its high ceiling grand but inviting.

The two L-shaped couches in the back living room host card boxes

From games previously played.

These floors are new and wooden.

The windows there still show outside, onto the small cracked patio.

The kitchen is on the front left side of the house,

Cramped but piled with food

And giving way to the laundry room with its low, stooped ceiling.

The dining room table is cleared off,

Its blue tablecloth lit up by the moon that shines bright through the windows.

The alcoves in it are in shadow, mysterious and dark.

The great front door creaks on its old hinges.

Breezes whish through the air,

Spreading the smell of overripe fruit from the trees.

The cars and table sit on a rough gravel.

Through a grove, the pool sits dark.

Its sloshing can be heard, a welcoming sound.

Five chairs sit under an umbrella, relaxing.

A yard of dry grasses stretches until a set of bushes.

From the yard, the whole city seems to be seen.

All of the narrow streets and alleys and squares of Aix-en-Provence.

The mountain of Sainte-Victoire looms in the distance,

Standing where it can just be seen.

Returning through the small grove, the house is sleepy and tired.

The shutters are closed and the windows on the first floor are empty and dark

Even as the moon shines on the front of the house.

The old, worn stone is cool to the touch in the dry night.

Back in bed, I lay under the blanket, chilly

And think of the house perched on its hill

Sleeping under the canopy of night.

Gilmanton at Night Anya Geist

Anya Geist, 12
Worcester, MA

About the Author

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