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 an open doorway – a tigress,
body crouched – I backed away, but
not before claws pierced my imagination
tended to the bleeding, chastising my
foolishness – of course, she isn’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 the face of trouble.
A family lived here once: a tightly knit
portrait of three, lulled by the protection
offered – no storms to weather –
until the husband left, daughter
in tow; ducked beneath closing
of the automated door –
me, trapped beneath layers of regret
choking on their fumes, homeless.
Would ignore her, except for
those grasping, white-knuckled
fingers pleading for rescue; would
shoulder her, but shudder to host such
destruction within my walls,
already robbed of equilibrium
this state of heightened vigilance
a cause for neglecting self – have
humoured one too many advantage-
taker, 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.
(Reena’s Exploration challenge this week is the long and short of it. The above poem is the long. The short follows.)
If life is defined by a garage,
then mine is single, attached,
empty and needing work.
(The original version of this poem was published in August 2016. It has been reworked for this edition.)