A dusty signboard nailed to a battered fence,
“For Sale” is all that it conveys.
The house that you see behind the sign is empty,
lifeless, dark. An ominous shape rising out from behind
misty skies, a shattered window, a battered rooftop.
Night descends on this patch of land for 24 hours,
shrouded in a veil. And all we know is that it is “For Sale.”
How can it be for sale? Just the walls, and window frames and doors,
And neglected shelves, wooden floors and dusty chandeliers,
which tell of a once grand residence, now one which nobody cares about,
Just this does not make up the house. It creates the skeleton.
You can’t buy the history of the house,
the tales of love, anger and betrayal that it has seen.
You can’t buy what it once stood for, a noble lineage.
You can’t buy the finest wines that once were drunk in the ballroom,
the one with the now dusty chandelier.
You can’t buy this house, you can buy a mere shell of it.
You can’t buy the beautiful bride of the master of the house,
her doe eyed, coy smile. Her skin pale and radiant as the moon.
You can’t buy her footsteps as she walked these dark halls,
which were illuminated by a thousand smiles,
during her marriage extravaganza. The master of the house was a wealthy man.
You can’t buy love just as you can’t buy hatred, jealousy, spite.
You can’t buy the jealous earl who wanted to possess the bride.
His insides churned with urges that would put animals to shame.
Not love no, this was shameless, blatant, unapologetic lust.
Cyanide met wine, which the unaware the groom drank.
Fell to the floor, amidst a shocked crowd.
You can’t buy the horror that ran through the room
like a cold wind spreading goosebumps across your skin.
You can’t buy the tears of the bride, the demonic glee of the earl.
You can’t buy the rope out of which the lovely maiden fashioned a noose,
death before dishonour.
You can’t buy this house. You can’t buy the two sets of footsteps
that echo through the darkened hallways every night.
You can’t buy the two voices that echo,
one raspy with poison burning the throat,
the other a whistle, a strangled whisper, a choked sigh.
Calling out, following the sound that the other makes, never meeting.
The money you gave for this house,
cannot buy you the cold hand,
the one that now crawls around your throat, or the raspy whisper you hear,
asking “Where is she?”


2 thoughts on “For Sale

  1. Gosh. This is brilliant. You are brilliant. This is why you are a good poet – First, great editing (a skill that can never be learnt enough, a skill I’m trying to learn). Second, variety and versatility (how on earth do you write poems like ‘For Sale’ and ‘Business Idea’?).
    I love this poem. Great storyline and portrayal of emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

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