Thursday, March 31, 2011

The House With A Broken Heart

Whenever I go for a walk I normally pass by a certain house in my neighborhood that I call the "Spooky House".

On this certain occasion my daughter was with me and I said to her, "That house is spooky and creepy."  She turned back and said...

"Mommy, I think that house has a broken heart."
It hit me when she said that.  How many times have I looked and judged and not have taken the opportunity to have empathy.  She taught me a valuable lesson that day.

She referred me to this poem:

The House With Nobody In It ~ Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black
I suppose I passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them for free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in a store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and shutters falling apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor house is a house with a broken heart.


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog...anything do to with a house/home I'm all over. Will be back to visit ;)

  2. @Martha Richardson Thank you so much : )


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