The Hardest Move

A quick reminder that the writing prompt for this month is ‘Being Thankful’.  If you would like to enter a piece of flash fiction or a poem then there is still time as submissions are welcome until the 24th of each month.

When considering what I would like to post I found it a bit of a challenge as there are many things for which I’m thankful.  But at the end of the day the thing that I will always be most thankful for is my beautiful family.

The prose poem below is a bit of a work in progress if I’m honest.  It seemed to just pour onto the page when we moved from our first family home last year and for me it evokes quite vivid images and personal emotions.  However, when it was submitted in to a poetry workshop at my writing class, the feedback I received was that it would benefit from being trimmed back fairly substantially to leave only the most salient points.  That way it would leave the reader to form their own opinions more, rather than me ‘telling’ them what to feel.  This is a critique that I completely take on board and I keep meaning to find the time to dedicate to this exercise as I feel it would certainly be worthwhile.  However, in the meantime, I would like to share the original unabridged version for the purposes of this month’s mini competition and any comments or feedback relating to the above would be welcomed.

car journey

THE HARDEST MOVE

A final sweep of empty rooms,

hollow steps echoing as I pass through.

Rooms empty but still full:

Of memories. Of the past. Of family.

Silence hangs in the air,

heavy, bittersweet.

Fingers instinctively brush a spot

on the wall where, on close inspection,

a washed out arc of crayon.

Green, I think.

Patio doors cleaned to a shine yet

I still see little finger prints;

steam where small faces pressed up

against pane on cold winter days

to look for Jack Frost and friends;

drawings formed in residue of their breath.

Outside stays the same

apart from one small fruit tree.

Missing.

A present on their birth four years ago.

This has already been moved;

the space left is small but vast

The first bedroom where they slept:

The ghosts of memories still linger,

but they won’t stick around

to haunt new owners.

I grieve for the loss

of what made this house our home.

They are waiting in the car.

Too young to understand;

eager for adventure.

Do they know they will not return?

To run up and down the hall chasing monsters

and being super heroes?

To sit at the kitchen table making pictures?

To jump on our bed and stare up

at the ceiling rose moon?

To roll down the garden and clamber over rockery,

playing hide and seek amongst the shrubs?

Will they remember their first home as I do?

They are almost too ready to move:

Excited and paying little heed to what will be left,

keen simply to bring their books and toys to the ‘new’;

ready to leave some ‘old’ in the ‘old’ house.

Their innocence at once charming and poignant.

It is time to go.

I understand but something holds me back

for just a fraction longer.

An invisible thread

gradually unravelling to release me

from the bind I feel.

I almost wish it to slow down

To suspend time for just a moment;

To allow me to breath in the essence

of our first home

and store it

locked away in a place where

it will not fade over time.

But this is just the beginning.

More memories will be made

Fresh air wraps itself around me as I exit;

a smile for waiting passengers.

The door closes quietly behind me

and whispers a soft goodbye.

(c) Elizabeth Frattaroli

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8 thoughts on “The Hardest Move

    1. Thanks Jill. I am usually okay with editing but because this piece is so personal I am finding it hard to be as objective. I really appreciate your comments. 🙂

  1. Hi Elizabeth. I agree totally with Jill. Having moved many times, the last move with my children from our home in California back to the UK when my marriage broke up, I could really sense the emotion in your heart as these words poured out of you at the time you wrote it.

    I never edit my poems as I feel they would lose the true message that I wanted to convey at the time of writing, the true emotion of that specific moment. I’m no expert, far from it, but that’s just my opinion!
    I love this poem. ‘The door closes quietly behind me and whispers a soft goodbye’…wow, I know that so well and it is staying with me…

    Beautiful.

    1. Wow, thanks Sherri, your comment is lovely. I’m glad it rang true with you and that you felt the emotion behind it. Your opinion means a lot to me. 🙂

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