Ane Brun, “Words”

Growing up, my room was directly adjacent to the family room in our sprawling single-story Southern California ranch home. Noises traveled through doorways and lingered in the halls of this old house, as did its people. Each night with such suburban regularity the noise of the nightly news watched by my mother in her kitchen cove floated by the feature film on which my father had paused, although he never stayed on any one image long. He reclining on the couch his hard work had purchased, feet on the Ethan Allen coffee table and arm raised high over his head as his suspended hand aimed the t.v. remote towards the cable box with nonchalant purpose.

Me, I was safe inside four walls, two windows and one door as the world revolved around itself outside, storming chaos as it paved its paths and picked its sides. But I knew nothing of this fury yet, even as I wrote nothings in a moleskin that seemed so urgent and so true. No, the things I knew then followed the floorboards of that grey-blue house set just before the foothills where my bare feet navigated each grain of wood as I summoned the courage to find my stride.  With each passing awkward year I wobbled less, noticed more. And while I know not the name of he who put those windows in those walls, I know the man who washed them clear of soot and soil to free his daughter from the task. From that clarity came words: words on paper; words that broke down letters to build stairwells; words that filled apartments with holograms and hopes; words that explained my station to those not unto myself.

Which is to say…if we are each a product of our environment, then I was packaged well. Kept safe and warm with only surface cracks sustained in shipping. So now I stop, I sit to recall the space that gave me words; to remember the rattle of its heater and the groans of its hinges, and capture this memory in characters. Using words to keep it real, architecture forming verse that reminds me of the people inside even if they roam its halls no more. Yes, here I stop…


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