Talisman

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March SOLC– Day 19

My daughter took this photo of our home recently and showed it to me yesterday. I was struck by the  mood of the scene, the timelessness of it. I asked her to send it to me because I knew I wanted to write about it–something, sometime. I woke early this morning, remembering a chance encounter with a man who had a story to tell about our house.

moody house.jpg



Our house,
two hundred plus years old,
steeped in history,
sits at the top of a hill
in a small town
in Maine.

Once we met a man
who told us a story.
Many years ago,
long before it was ours,
he took a picture
of the house,
and he carried it with him
to fight in steamy jungles
in a gritty, thankless war.
Far across the sea,
he would grip the photo,
tightly,
stare at it,
and think,
“When I get home,
I’m gonna buy that house.”
It became a talisman,
the house.
The man survived
and he returned.
Though he never bought our house,
it carried him through
and it brought him home.

Sometimes when the mist curls
about the foundation,
our house shimmers,
auraed in a timeless light,
suffused with a soft glow
of stories,
of history.

And sometimes
I think of that man,
fighting for his life
in heavy, humid air
and tangles of vegetation,
dreaming of a house
two hundred plus years old
at the top of a hill
in a small town
in Maine.

Molly Hogan (c) 2016

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11 thoughts on “Talisman

  1. terierrol says:

    Love your poem and the feelings it evokes. I too have lived in old houses. They have such memories around their walls. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea says:

    Achingly beautiful, Molly. You are so gifted!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem is evocative. It’s about more than the house and your feelings about the house, it’s also about the effects of the house and the enduring values they represent. How lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cindy says:

    Wow Molly! Your descriptions are so rich. My favorite lines, “fighting for his life, in heavy humid air, and tangles of vegetation…” you are so thoughtful with your words- you show us that you only need a few words to transport us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. elsie says:

    Love the poem, but especially the third stanza. I’ve read that one over and over and love the images in my mind. Very cool picture and the response it brought out of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie Roy says:

    Wow, you are talented. This is such an incredible poem you’ve written! I like that your daughter sent you the picture and you woke up thinking about that encounter with that man and put it all together in this beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rita K. says:

    What a powerful poem. There is so much here. In a sense, the house was that man’s “sweetheart”, willing him to make it through the war, giving him a reason to return. Your home has a rich history and your poem is rich in words and meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lori Sheroan says:

    Wow – that poem is both thought-provoking and touching! It’s wonderful to think that the photo of your home held such hope for the soldier.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ‘Suffused with a soft glow of stories, of history’ -these words Molly resonate strongly for me Molly. The photograph your daughter took was the well spring for your writing, your choice of genre, your focus. Such is the power of the image, that it compels the writer to respond. Your writing here is strong, purposeful and mindful. The photograph is atmospheric and your writing remains respectful of this. but you are also true to the history of place and a man’s connection to the house. As Rita wrote- a powerful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bevbaird says:

    Powerful photo and poem. What an amazing story to tell.

    Like

  11. Amy says:

    One thing that immediately left me wondering was about the solider who went off to war. I’m wondering about time in history when I read:

    he took a picture
    of the house,
    and he carried it with him
    to fight in steamy jungles
    in a gritty, thankless war.

    Perhaps the Vietnam war. That brave solider holding onto his dream. You shared this so beautifully. Then I loved that you shared the photo of your house too. While you are such a gifted writer, you know they say a picture speaks 1,000 words. This is house is just the house I would picture for you. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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