My Grandmother’s House

I wiggled impatiently as I drove my grandmother to my house, to her house.
We were both in awe. It was on the market.
This would be our chance to get it back after my mother lost it.
My grandparents built that house, my grandmother drew the plans, designed it with care.
The backyard had been a treat for families and children.
A pool and pool house.
A play house.
A sandbox.
A swing set cemented into the back corner.
I would swing high and flutter into the branches of fruit trees.
A black top with a tennis net, and a tetherball pole, and a basketball net.
And in the house we had bedrooms. One for all four us, well, I supposed my dad built the fourth one in the basement. Grandma had only three daughters. As my sisters grew up and moved out, I moved around the house, inheriting, one at a time, each of the bedrooms. The vacated rooms became play rooms and computer rooms.

The trees were cut.
The pool and deck toppled,
The blacktop chopped into rubble.
The realtor offered us flea spray for the bottoms of our pant legs.
Everything was broken and dirty and ruined.

4 years. We had only been gone for 4 years.

I drove my grandmother to her house, where she had lived with her oldest daughter for 22, as long as I’d been alive. My grandmother had given the house to my mother-soon to be single mother of three- to help her. To raise me.
Grandma busied herself right away, peeling tomatoes grown from her own backyard. She told me how much she loved mother brought into the home.
Why would I want to go back there,
why would I want memories of them?
It’s memories of my sisters, and brother too
It’s just a house.
We can build another house.

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