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Journal 6

The Still Frame House

I remember an adventure began with a full tank of gas,
your mother’s old Subaru and miles of country back roads
that I knew a little and you not at all.
I remember we raced the birds and the clouds
until we found a driveway overgrown
from neglect which belonged to a house falling  in on itself.

I remember holding onto your jacket sleeve like a frightened child
as we crept in through the back door. The floors had rotted, the walls crumbling under the weight of time.
I remember holding my breath because laid out before us In this battered old home was a moment in time captured and preserved: a perfect still of someone’s memory.

I remember there was petrified wonder bread still in the icebox and a cereal box on the counter. All of the kitchen chairs were pulled neatly to the  little wooden table.
I remember there was a stuffed toy bear on the living room floor between a floral print sofa and chair set. Books, papers, and crayon drawings were evidence of of the echo of life.

I remember the floorboard giving out underneath one of my feet,
leaving me with one leg up to my chin like a flamingo, the other buried In the foundation, covered in mud.
I remember your choked laughter as you pulled me up with your left hand while you lit a joint with your right. We stood and passed the spliff between us,  contemplating the scene like TV detectives.

What I remember the most is the photo album. I remember the pictures of the family, the proud and doting parents and their little girl with her stuffed bear. I wonder if you still have those photos, and if you ever remember, too.