For the third time in six years
I’ve bought a doll’s house.
The first came from the Salvation Army.
The last two were from garage sales.
All were home made: Grandpa cut,
Grandma decorated. Mom discarded.
I think I bought them because they are
the kinds of homes I never had. Standard
dimensions. Six over six. Cape Cod,
Mine were odd, transient. Ancient French
hovel built before Napoleon, trailer house
at the end of a runway, Spanish piso in a
Roman outpost rebuilt by the Moors
a thousand years later.
Home, I came to see, is not where
my parents were born, nor where my
grandparents are buried. It is the spot
I unpack my suitcase for the night, the
place I brush my teeth and crawl between
sheets that cover me like a veil of sand,
soon shifted by prevailing winds.
—Yvette Viets Flaten, Eau Claire, WI