Dorothy's House

Vol. XIV No. 4 - FALL/WINTER 2003-4

By: Kathryn Duskey Gemperle

It was where she was born in 1905
span along a sandy trail once traveled by
traders on foot
Her family of seven
lived there many years
while Father ran the grocery store
the first one in Edgewater
Until Father died
and then Mother
Brothers married
sisters too
till only Celeste the youngest
Once she moved on
it became Dorothy’s house
She filled it with music
learning and teaching
no one to demand quiet
no one to tell her
when to return
after busy days downtown
She filled it with memories
her father’s store
her mother’s photo albums
her brother’s adventure stories
She filled it with relatives
who loved the old house
who told her to move
It was still Dorothy’s house
when they paved the road
when they changed the lanes
when they sent more traffic
It was still Dorothy’s house
when she died at 93
caring for the house
until the very end
It was still Dorothy’s house
when they sold it
when the developer tore it down
without apology

Copyright © 2003 by Kathryn Duskey Gemperle. All Rights Reserved

(This poem was written in memoriam of Dorothy McManus, who lived in her family home at 5776 N. Ridge until her death at age 93. The home was demolished by Jim Byrne, an Edgewater resident.)