The last time I visited my father’s house  
-the one he built in the village
as his lasting legacy,
it had morphed from a once-majestic
monument- into a decaying husk of rubble.
Covering my mouth as I walked the rooms
-there was still no escape from the musty
smell of dead moth’s wings …. and other things
My eyes picked out the paint peeling away from every wall- as though eager to reveal secrets hidden beneath.
Ghosts of memories walked with me.
Here was my older brother’s room- where he’d nearly blown his brains out.
He was only 5 years old and Daddy hadn’t locked his gun up- as was his habit.
What died that day was the wall on the far right- long since repaired – but probably still aching from the bullet wound.
Here in the dining room was where my eldest brother scalded his upper thighs with hot tea… he couldn’t walk for a week.
He’s long gone now- buried in South Africa’s soil.
This room was my big sister’s room. She always chased me away when I came to visit
She’s now buried on the grounds….
dust to dust
ashes to ashes
…. her face a distant memory.
Mum and dad’s room was just an echo of a previous life. Dad decided to join sis on the grounds….. but remembered to leave his powerful presence behind.
A house that holds this much power is difficult to revisit
It’ll be a long while before I’m strong enough to return
– if ever.
© Vivian Zems

Dverse Poets – Open link night#256