Tara Smith

The House on Walnut Street

I awake beneath a thin cotton cocoon
to a cool room on a hot summer’s night.
The darkness intensifies
the sound of the box fan in the window.
Beneath its whirring is the faint and indecipherable rondo
of chirping crickets and croaking frogs.

I roll onto my back, my eyes burning
toward the nothingness above.
When the old water stains on the ceiling
reveal their dank and puddled outlines,
I know my eyes have adjusted
from one darkness to another.

This house,
on Walnut Street,
is as old and tired as the secrets it hides.

The floors creak; the carpet, worn.
The plumbing, temperamental at best.
Sheets hang where there ought to be doors.
Paint falls away from the walls in chips
the size of snowflakes and matchbooks.
Still—nostalgia and innocence abound.

This house,
on Walnut Street,
will give birth to butterflies and moths alike.

© Emily Grace

Tara Smith studied English Literature and Philosophy at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and received an MA in Liberal Studies from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. Tara is currently working on her second novel as well as a collection of poetry. Tara has been actively involved with the League of Women Voters for nearly a decade.

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