history / home / small towns

The House on Tenth Street

I passed by this old house

one evening

alive with candlelight

where it stands

on 10th Street

it has been there

since the early 1900s

against ratcheting time

life expanded

and dissolved

like the neighborhood bakery

barber shop, trinket stores

horses and carriages

replaced by autos

Bonnie and Clyde

roamed the backside

of these streets

World War II ushered in

rationing, praying

tears amid destruction

A tornado hit close

sixties racial turmoil

schools closed

This house was here

when Andy Sims

disappeared without a trace

in 1961

It has been lucky

to remain

in a place where they

tear down history

trying to keep appearance

hip and modern

not even considering

how we need

the contributions of yesterday

and how we can admire

the continuance

of the elegant

yet simple style

the testament to the past

the grace of another time

the comfort that

all those candles

must give to those

returning home



18 thoughts on “The House on Tenth Street

  1. Lovely poem. I love the many references to past events which shaped the town. Your words are a tribute to the importance of preserving some of our historic buildings and respecting what the past has to teach us. The house looks warm and inviting – a lovely home.

    • Millie, I adore old houses. We are so bad about tearing our historical places down where I live, but I’m hoping it’s not as bad in other areas. You are so lucky to live in a country that has such a rich history and so many beautiful historic places to visit. Thanks for reading!

      • Most of our historical buildings are great big, solidly built structures that would take a lot of pulling down. On the other hand, we have lots of very old thatched cottages that are very sought after as homes. All old buildings have conservation orders on them so even people who live in them can’t alter them in any way. Your poem was lovely and I enjoyed reading it.

      • That would be wonderful for you. We many Americans over here, seeking out their origins. Most head for Ireland and Scotland, which is understandable, considering so many left for the U.S.from there. 🙂
        My aunt lives in an old 18th century coaching inn, and has to get permission to make even simple repairs.

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