The House My Heart Lives In by Christine Potter

The House My Heart Lives In

My parents are gone, my grandparents,
aunts, and uncles. But I have always found
winter beautiful. There is reassurance in

the early dark, the white, white sun, rooms
with all the furniture given away, rooms that
do not exist anymore. The small glass jars

of rose-smelling face cream on round white
bathroom sinks, the translucent, golden ovals
of glycerin soap. Frosted bathroom windows

manufactured to look that way: December
always, so no one can see us. The house my
heart lives in is in an old neighborhood with

trees that bump its sidewalks and the scent
of wood fires burning. Except the trees have
long ago been taken down and the sidewalks

repaired. But someone has still chalked You
Are Pretty in purple and pink at the corner.
Two years ago, my mother died as much as

anyone can. I think we all hide sheet music—
bird-scratch instructions for everything we
know—in rooms cozy with rugs and pillows.

It is our job to memorize the songs of loss
in inherited mirrors and spoons. We have
crossed into winter, and the sky is so clear!

by Christine Potter

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Editor’s Note: One could argue that a gorgeous collection of imagery isn’t truly a poem, until one reads a poem such as this, where the collection of memories furnishes an entire lifetime of houses.


5 responses to “The House My Heart Lives In by Christine Potter”

  1. Joyce Avatar

    Lovely poem! A perfect poem to be read on a Valentines Day morning with light snow falling from a thick sky, light slant on the heirloom overstuffed chair.

    1. Chris Potter Avatar

      Thank you so much!!

  2. Dave Williams Avatar

    A deeply felt, and nicely nuanced with detail, blending of the domestic and the seasonal.

  3. richardsund Avatar

    A sad but beautiful poem. For someone grieving , the poem captures wonderful small details of the living. But winter makes me more mournful, but maybe that’s just me.

  4. amycorlew Avatar


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