The Old House

Has withstood the test of time.

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The wild wind raging screams and howls,

In its fury pelting my new resilient roof

It’s far too small to deconstruct me

I stand tall and elegant, old and stately

I surround and shelter those tucked inside

My protective walls this wind can’t shake

Wind throwing twigs and hurling branches

Hard like small missiles meant to wound

They make unnerving and startling noises,

But helplessly they slide off my armored roof

Wind tries pounding walls with a dozen fists

The blows are futile and my boards don’t bend

Then pulling and trying to tear me apart

But I won’t give to wind even a splinter

I’ve seen many bigger storms than this

Wind, you know I’m more than ninety-two

And you are but a fresh and furious gale

Throwing sticks and pecans, hitting like hail,

You be but a mere straight wind no twist at all

I’ve been through worse and still I stood tall

Tenants once broke out all my tall windows

Idiots with guns blew holes in my floorss

A mean kid once even tried to set me on fire

His bundles of kindling found in my attic

But I would not burn for the little lunatic

Many have been born here and died here, too

My high ceilings the first or last they saw

My walls, if they could, great stories they’d tell

I’m only of wood, but hardened by the years,

And unless the giant oak or the high sycamore

Or even one of the spindly old pecan trees,

Fail and fall right down upon me just so,

I’ll stand here sheltering my people as always

Not about to collapse or come apart

For I was built to last by proud craftsman

Who never uttered, “that’s good enough,”

But rather worked until I was perfect

Never uttering that excuse “good enough”

As if only temporarily I was meant to stand

No, they built me strong for the ages

I’ve had some work done here and there

In the 30’s they first added plumbing

Not long after the doctor who built me

Moved his thriving practice over to town

And my clinic became a downstairs bedroom

The former waiting room they call a den

So rage on you disturbed howling wind

I will not yield to your fits and starts

The old oak and tall sycamore feel the same

Their roots are deep in good solid ground

We’ve been here all the while among our peers

On this once muddy road we’ve stood years,

Through many wars, and the depression, too

We shall not fall for you tonight, little blow,

Not me nor these gracious giant old trees

So calm yourself wind, and lay again gentle

You won’t take me; I’m stronger than you

So go on now, gently rustling the leaves,

Quiet down as it’s time for you to rest

And know again I’ve withstood your test

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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