Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: I Don't Want A Mansion In Heaven
By Mariane Holbrook
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On streets paved with untarnished gold.
The mansions we passed were imposing and grand;
Almost too recherché to behold.
A Tudor home’s herringbone brickwork,
High chimneys and dormers galore,
Its tall mullioned windows and steeply pitched roofs
Spoke clearly of gracious décor.
Beyond that, a great “Antebellum”
Surrounded by white picket fence,
Had pillars, hipped roof and elaborate frieze,
But strangely devoid of pretense.
I turned to the guide who was with me,
“You said I could choose what I please?
Of those that I’ve looked at, I doubt if I’d feel
At home, sir, in any of these.
“I wonder if there is a hillside
Away from the elegance here;
A house I had hoped could be mine for all time:
My ‘home place’ I’d always held dear.
“It sat on a beautiful hillside
With views of the meadows below.
The house was unpainted and needed repair
But that was a long time ago.
“Inside was a warm, friendly kitchen
Where cookies were baked with great love.
An oil cloth covered the oak table top
And a fly paper hung from above.
“We slept under quilts in the bedrooms
And listened to katydids’ song.
There’s nowhere on earth as endearing as this
For this is the place I belong.
“I don’t need a mansion up here, sir.
I know all my family’d agree.
If I could just have my small house on a hill,
Now that would be heaven to me.”
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