Four White Walls

These four white walls that surround me
Tower above me
Make up a house
That was once called my home
But not anymore

I look around at the desolate walls
Lacking color and definition
They no longer mean a thing
But a shelter,
A place safe from the outside storm

They don’t have the same warmth now,
The same sense of comfort
That they once brought to me
Now they give me a sense of foreboding
Of the empty fate that will meet me now

I remember running to this house
Seeking comfort in its warm embrace
When children at the park were bullying me,
Or when my friends made me cry
Like in a mother’s arms I always found home here

Now I don’t know what I will call ‘home’
The word won’t have the same implication
All my life I’ve called this four white walls my home
Now where will I go
And how will I get there?

My eye meets the corner,
The little white corner that housed a couch,
Giving the bland walls the colors tan and black
Not very lively, but colors just the same
And now that very corner is white again

There on that side of the room was a bookshelf
One we had bought when I was three
My little picture books
Later rested next to my newer paperbacks
But now that side is back to the boring white it used to be

And right there in the centre,
Was the bright red carpet rug we had bought
My sister and I had fought over the choice
She wanted pink, I wanted blue
In the end we learnt how to compromise


Each artifact we bought,
Each piece of furniture we placed
Each color we painted the walls
Had a sentiment behind it,
A story only we knew

Now those stories are lost,
Left only in our heads
No tangible proof of them exists anymore
No one will know that TV over there
Had been bought when Dad got that promotion he always wanted

They won’t know the story behind the dining table,
How our old one broke
And almost fell on top of my brother
And they won’t see that air conditioner up there
Had actually been won in a raffle

The furniture will remain the same,
And the same objects I had stayed with all along
But the amount of time we took to place them here
The arguments about the perfect spot
Will all be gone, will all be gone

Up the plain wooden stairs,
Stained with memories of spills and falls,
I wander to a room, that I once called my own
Now the meaning of possession
Has meaning no more

I chose this room because of the tree next to the window
The apple tree I climbed many times later on,
And fell off more often
And the grass always looked greener here to me
Just because it was outside of my window

My bed rested there,
Where I had nights of endless sleep
And nights disturbed by dreams
No other place could be more fitting,
No, no other place could do it justice more

There was once a time when these white walls were blue,
My family and I had painted it together
The summer I was ten
And the blue walls had been filled with pictures-
Photographs and paintings that I had hung up with pride

This room had symbolized me-
I had shaped it so that it defined me
And in some ways, I had shaped myself to this room as well
No other room could hold more significance
Or cause my heart more happiness and anguish at the same time

I walked away from the repainted white walls
Into the bathroom
Here, one thing remained
The yellow and blue tiles with fish on them,
A final reminiscence of the abandoned home that once was here

But this bathroom no more felt like mine-
The scent of my soap and my shampoo had washed away
It didn’t have my toothbrush or toothpaste in it
And my favorite curtain had been removed
Now this was just another faceless, nameless room

All these rooms were now faceless and nameless
They had no more character than an empty parking lot
I couldn’t bear the sight anymore.
Through the room and down the stairs I fled,
Refusing to look back

I fled through the living room as fast as I could
I don’t want to see any more of the white walls
As I stood at the threshold
I felt something wet on my cheek,
Wiping the offending tear hastily, I stepped out.

Those four white walls standing there
Tower above me
Make up a house
That was once called my home
But not anymore
I finally understand
It’s time to move on now





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