Old House

Old house, I'm leaving you, selling you on.
The walls won't be mine any more,
Someone else will patch the roof,
New folk will call you home.
At night, when the sea thumps over the wall,
You'll give shelter to strangers
Unused to your creaks and groans,
The moaning of the gale in your chimneys.
They will be safely gathered in, as we were,
Safe from the wind howling through the sky,
Doors shut firm against the sea torrents
And black shouting night kept at bay.
And when the sun bakes the street to dry, hot dust,
Other sandy feet will run into the yard
Bodies dripping salt drops from their swim
Dogs like dervishes scattering the sea from their coats.
In quiet of evening, another will stand at the gate
Where our generations have stood,
And look out over the water while owls hoot,
And know that all is well with you.

By Sheilagh Banner.

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