We changed houses like others planted new gardens, stored
their wool sweaters in moth balls, and washed their curtains
and shampooed carpets. Moving from one side of the highway to another,
town to country, street to street, there was a restlessness about us.
We were birds that built fresh nests each season. The houses blur
in memory, similarities more outstanding than differences.
Most were low to the ground, all rooms clinging to the earth,
but the trail like so many locust hulls discarded in metamorphosis
had its own anomalies, a kitchen bar here, a basement there, and a trio
of second stories. Yet two of those second stories seemed like houses
stacked on top of each other, stairways merely openings with steps.
Only one rises in memory to catch imagination, the stairway
with a curved bannister, its rooms carefully separated for more
than function. It was that bannister that guests saw upon entering
the front door, its curve at the bottom promising something more
than bedrooms at the top, an ascension of more than foot following foot.