Carter Botham

October 16, staffordshire

The home I grew up in

You missed it when you walked in,
The tiles in the bathroom that looked like an ogre,
That had captured my imagination as a child.
You missed that the bottom stair was harder,
The leak in the upstairs bathroom that was neglected and left to the care of a bowl,
Emptied weekly as if this chore was less than fixing it.

You missed the dent in the paint from the arguments,
Doors slammed haphazardly into walls,
The stain on the carpet from way back when,
a time long ago,
More like a dream now than a memory.
You missed the way the light sockets changed colour through the house,
From old refurbishment projects left abandoned,
And where pencil marks of growing up were simply scatches on the wall,
Under layers of paint trying to hide a past we no longer wanted to see.

You missed the holes in the carpet from furniture long removed.
The way the shampoo and conditioner was arranged and kept in the bath.
The precise way to open the cupboard without accidentally breaking it off its hinges,
You missed the way we had cut the grass wrong last summer, and now it was growing back in uneven neglected chunks,
Behind the backdoor which was broken from being slammed too many times.

You missed the way they smiled,
A facade of cheeriness, like the house itself,
The scripted speech to look perfect,
Blurring your vision to the details
That seem so wrong to me,
Can you not see the dents? The details of here
That noone cares to see?
You missed it.
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