Moving House

Piece by piece the furniture is carried out
chairs, tables, bookcases, beds.
The mens’ feet on the bare boards
beat a constant accompaniment.
Last to go is the piano. Is it loth to leave
where so much music has been made?
(Shades of Bach, of MacDowell on winter evenings,
of carol practice – of HMS Pinafore).
Uncaring the permanent fixtures look on
their future assured against all but attrition.
A few flies crawl in the windows.
A dead beetle, dumbly symbolic, sprawls in the passage.
The house is dead, the house awaits new life
not a resurrection.

The family have gone ahead. I linger in the garden
in the interspace between life and life.
Fugitive memories chase each other.
And here substantial relics of our past selves silently speak.
A few plants. Last year’s discarded Christmas tree
and a dog’s grave.