“A Monument to Memory”

The winds roil the waters
And sweep the land
As they mix the sands
Of ocean and bay
And force them to batter
The classic old house on the beach.

Hundred-year survivor
Of nature’s vengeance
This island refuge
Has sheltered
And pleasured
Four generations
Of a single family.

The house has seen
Its stewards
Learn
To walk, talk
Swim and sail
Befriend, love and lose.

It has offered its space
For bicycles, boats, water skis
Indoor games
Outdoor sports
Large family gatherings
Intimate getaways.

Now.
This monument to memory
Stands tall and fast
Against the vicious onslaught
Of wind, water, sand and debris.
It watches its neighbors
Fall in battle
And fly by in pieces
No longer recognizable
As human dwellings.

Still the family summer home holds.
It has more memories to make
More love to store
More children to nurture.

The storm rages on
And little by little
The proud house
Loses its façade
Its bones
And finally
Its will to survive
Is stolen by the wind.

Like Sandy, the Storm of the Century
Which swirls around it
And sweeps the island clean
The house is carried away
To become its own memory.

(Written for dversepoets.com, Open Link Night, Week 68, October 30, 2012.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to “A Monument to Memory”

  1. susielindau says:

    That is so sad. I love the personification of the house. As long as its owners are safe, it can be rebuilt.

  2. vb holmes says:

    Many thanks–they are safe and will always have their memories. Will take time for them, and so many others, to accept that the family house is gone, but as you say, the important thing is that all are safe.

  3. Dave Higgins says:

    Some excellent lines, and a great flow.

    However I found the line “One-hundred-year-old survivor…” a little clunky.

    • vb holmes says:

      Thanks for your observation–I found it a bit cumbersome as well, but if you read something over and over again, it starts to sound right. I dropped the “One and the “old”–hope it reads better now.

      • Dave Higgins says:

        I know that feeling; it always reminds me of Oscar Wilde saying he been working hard all day: he took a comma out this morning, and this afternoon he put it back.

        The line feels better to me now.

  4. brian miller says:

    man, sad to think of all the ones that lost homes…and all the memories they contain…in this storm or in others….it may be rebuilt but it will not be the same you know..

  5. my heart sorrows for all that is lost but lives so precious thank you Lord for sparing as many as you did. Beautiful tribute Mr. Holmes

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    Fun tribute to the good times we have on those beaches. Nicely written.

  7. Having had property on Cape Hatteras, we all know the risks of building. We chose not to build, sold the property, but have no memory of what could have been. You captured this well. I live in a risky area now, but at least I’ll have memories.

  8. it always makes me sad if i see houses fall to pieces..places where there once was lots of life and laughter…a piece of history lost..

  9. beebeesworld says:

    Thanks for reading “Please come to Boston. ” It was/is one of my favorite songs from younger days. beebee

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