For Sale, Fixer-Upper by Orin Zebest at flickr

I wear this house
Like my favorite t-shirt,
The one you dig through the drawer for,
The one gone soft with wearings and washings,
The one you long to put on
On Saturdays
When you just want to be
It used to be my favorite color blue,
Like the ocean in the sun at noon.
It’s faded now,
Ragged around the collar,
Dribbled with little kid ice creams and
Either it’s shrunk or I’ve grown
Because it feels tight when I stretch.
But I don’t care
Because this t-shirt is my home.
How can you ask me
To give it up
And find another?

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

9 replies
  1. Donna says:

    This was a perfect expression of the feelings moving from a well-loved home.
    We bought a fixer-upper…well, a do-over actually. And when we bought it, I felt something like this, only we were getting the treasured t-shirt and imagining the dribblings and scribblings that had gone on in the house. Can hardly wait to add our own story to it! I wrote a poem to it…”The House With the Wrinkled” Wall…over at gullhaven.blogspot.com where I am trying to keep our remodeling/renovation progress updated.

  2. Linda at teacherdance says:

    Beautiful. I’m not sure if I should respond to the house or the clothing-both feel so right. I love those old clothes, though, & always thought it was from a grandfather, who changed into raggedy old clothes to do his chores after work. My brother & I both speak of this, & love to wear the old favorites too.

  3. Heidi Mordhorst says:

    I have a shirt exactly like this, and it really was that color blue only already faded, and before that I had another one which played the role of home. In my case it’s the overstretching that makes it uncomfortable, but my favorite parts of this poem are
    “on Saturdays when you just want to be yourself” and “it feels tight when I stretch”. Nice one, Liz!

    Monday I’m bringing you the pieces of a poem I found in my classroom closet.

  4. Stacey says:

    “I wear this house like an old t-shirt.” That line brought me right in. When something, like a house, feels just right, it’s home. Isn’t it?

    Lovely poem and sentiment.

  5. Karen Edmisten says:

    Love the way you captured the feel of that Golden Boy t-shirt. Remember the old Seinfeld episode where he laments the final days of one of those shirts? “Golden Boy is dying …” 🙂

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