Re-Purposing the Garage

It’s complicated, really, but so much
is defined by the presence of a garage.

Here is a stand-alone, connected by
a breezeway, single-car with storage;

could have been so much more –
had planned for it, but life changes.

Once had an oversized garage, direct
access, housed two vehicles, custom

built, but the cars are gone now, and
the single stands vacant, like my mind.

Except, the other day, I swore I glimpsed
an animal there, perched on the shelving

fierce, cat-like eyes caught in the dim
light of the open doorway, a tigress,

body crouched, poised to strike, backed
away, convinced it was a hallucination,

but then there she was again, clawing
at my imagination, piercing my senses;

I tended to the bleeding, chastising my
foolishness – of course she wasn’t real –

I lost my feminine prowess long ago,
am more of a groundhog now – slow

moving, podgy, sniffing the air for hints
of change, burrowing in face of trouble,

more a scrounger than a dweller, prefer
underground to domesticated storage.

A family lived here once: a tightly knit
portrait of three, lulled by the protection

offered – no storms to weather, just
sheltered transitions until the husband

left, daughter in tow; ducked beneath
the closing of the automated door –

left me, trapped under the layers of
debris, choking on their fumes, a flea-

bitten heap of a woman, homeless,
buried in a mound of bitter regrets;

almost missed her existence, except
for those grasping, white-knuckled

fingers emerging from the heap,
pleading for rescue, begging for

revival; I would shoulder her, one
more responsibility burdening

progress, shuddered to host such
destruction within my walls, would

have tended to her suffering more
promptly had not my daughter’s

malingering, suspiciously bent on
thievery, robbed me of equilibrium –

this state of heightened vigilance
a cause for neglecting self – have

humoured too many who would take
advantage of me, cannot trust my own

instincts, am disillusioned, no longer
content with inconsistencies, need to

confront the condition of my garage,
clean out the accumulation of stored

nonessentials; maybe hold a sale,
whitewash the interior and buy a car.


(Feature image from:


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

2 thoughts on “Re-Purposing the Garage”

  1. Really like this one, if it’s autobiographical it’s very brave and honest, if it’s not then it’s a great short story in a poem. That’s not a question, by the way, so need to specify, leave it open to the imagination!!!

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