It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. ~Author unknown


Sit here

All day long.

Vacant, empty.

Dreaming of the past,

When I was loved. Needed.

When I kept a family safe

From storms, robbers, and other ills.

Love and laughter filled my rooms, and I

Felt secure in fulfilling my purpose.

Now my family’s gone, and I sit alone.

My lawn untended; my paint peeling,

Grass in cracks, weeds overflowing.

Who will fix me up again?

Will someone please buy me?

Will someone love me?

I can give much!

Don’t let me

Go to


Note: Monkey and I pass this ranch-style house on our morning walks, and it never fails to sadden me. I hear the elderly owner passed away several years ago, long after his wife had died and their kids went to live out of state. A daughter came to look over (and, I assume, take what she wanted) after his death, but she hasn’t been back since. There’s no For Sale sign outside. This poem is a Double Etheree.

28 thoughts on “Deserted

    • I agree. I’ve heard of more than a few homes that were sold even before the For Sale sign could be set out. I hate to think of the mess left behind when somebody dies — no wonder the heirs didn’t want to tackle the cleanup. Maybe they didn’t want to shell out the money to have it cleaned??

  1. That’s a little odd. I suspect complications of some sort: family members who can’t quite let go, or a legal wrangle. I presume someone’s still paying taxes on it, which always makes these situations seem even more puzzling to me. If I didn’t want to make use of the home, why not sell? Hard to say.

    • You know, you’re probably onto something here. I can’t imagine the state or county waiving property taxes on a home in a nice neighborhood. Still, it seems such a waste to let it go downhill this way.

  2. Debbie, this poem was so touching to me because I’ve always thought of a house as a living, breathing entity that contains the essence and energies of those who have occupied it. I remember when I first moved back to the Northeast and took a drive out to the burbs to the town where I grew up. And when I spotted the house in which my family lived, I parked the car and just sat there looking at the house for almost 30 minutes, allowing myself to remember the memories it held for me. It was a very moving experience because I could feel/hear the memories deep within my heart, as if the house was talking to me. Even remembering it now moves me.

    Thank you so much for sharing your talent, my friend. Such a gifted writer you are!

    Have an awesome week! X

    • Ron, I can go into the homes of former friends we used to play with, and they take me right back to childhood. The smells are so familiar (not that the people themselves smelled, but a house does take on the “aromas” of its occupants). Your experience mightily illustrates how sensitive your emotions are, my friend!

      Thank you for your compliment — it’s much appreciated. Have a wonderful rest of your week! xx

    • I do, too, Laurie. I’d have thought the heirs would be willing to let it go for a song, especially considering how “stuffed to the gills” it must’ve been with furniture, nick-knacks, and so forth.

    • Aw, thanks, Barbara. Glad you enjoyed it. Looking at things from the house’s point of view kind of gave it a whole new feeling. And yes, I do think houses must have some sort of feeling toward their occupants — odd, perhaps, but oh well….

  3. Love the poem, Debbie! How sad about the house – they so quickly get that abandoned look when they’re left vacant, don’t they? I wonder why the owners haven’t put it up for sale.

    • We passed by there just a little bit ago and noticed one of those huge trash bins outside. Two men were busy hauling out mattresses, tables, lamps, that sort of thing. I wonder if somebody saw me taking photos and figured they’d better clean up their act?!!

    • I don’t know if it’s going to be sold, but it does look as if it’s being cleaned up — and that’s a great first step. I’m going to watch and see where this whole thing leads!

  4. I always feel that a house has an energy, a “vibe,” most likely picked up from the inhabitants who’ve lived there. When we left our house of 17 years in in the Bay Area, I walked through each room touching the walls, thanking the space for the peace, shelter, love it gave my family throughout the years. I hope this sad and lonely house in your poem/photo is soon filled with life again.

  5. Sad and touching poem. The houses that go empty after their owners die. This ranch-style home is making me think about my mom’s home. She doesn’t live there anymore because she’s in assisted living. Fortunately, my brother and his wife are staying their a few days a week. (Long story.) My heart hurts thinking of the day when it will be sold…

    • I know we’re really not supposed to get attached to the things of this world, but somehow, a home (perhaps because we spend so much time there, or maybe it’s just that that’s the place where we feel most “Us”) seems different. And a deserted house is especially sad and lonely-looking. Hugs to you, Kathy.

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