“In Summer Cottage,” Konstantin Korovin, 1895, WikiArt.

How do you where you belong, cottage, field,
Or forest? By running one’s hands across time-
Weathered walls or stone? Visceral connection,
Heart comforts, whispering, “You are home,
Child.” Such was my own cottage, abandoned,
Windblown, to passersby, beyond repair. Who
Would want that old shipwreck? Ghastly shade
Of bright blue, front door was solid in its frame,
Neither inviting nor denying, hinge-creaking,
It permitting gradual, entering push.

Plaster walls frightening, half window-panes
Broken, these mattered not to smells: pungent
Fireplace smoke, burnt wood, musty, dusty
Lingering aromas beckoning me, not to just
Visit, but move-in stay, not next month, but
Now, bring lunch, pot boiling, tea, scones,
Honest breakfast, sizzling sausages, bread
Baking, old and new smells entwined as one,
Path wafting, announcing, I, Willow, live here,
Mother bird nesting, window-sill perched.

First, I made one room my own, flowered wall-
Paper peeling, creaky bed, mattress home to
Generations of mice. Did I destroy it all, fires
Day and night burning? No! It needed sunlight,
Swift sweeping, hands-and-knees scrubbing,
And lumpy mattress, broom beating on nearby
Stone wall. Alas! By sweaty brow and bathe
Needing, cozy corner made, place to sleep,
Roof over my head, stone cottage security
On windward ocean island.

Thanks for reading.

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