The house did not contain a memory
of him arriving unexpectedly,
our sharing a meal,
listening to music together,
sitting on the floor giggling foolishly
as we played childhood card games.
These memories belonged
to a different house
in a different country.
But it did contain the memory
of his ringing one birthday
because as he said, correctly,
I would prefer a phone call to a present.
It also contained
the anguished-ridden calls
as his health leeched out of him.
When, after his death, the house
was up for sale,
I had no choice but to buy it.
How could I leave a house
where I had last heard his living voice?