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2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Ode to Indiana

Photo by Mikayla Faivre

Ode to Indiana

Hannah Duffield

Tired like a guard dog waiting through the night

I return to the family home which survives

Standing sturdy as a mighty oak

Overflowing with echoes of the past

Drifting across the mind’s eye 

Just like falling leaves


Nestled behind the garage

Once sat the old woodshop

Back when Grandpap had stronger hands

And a sharper mind, and a lively body

The smell of sawdust lingers

Old stains sunken into tired concrete

Only a memory of a memory

Slipping away and gone in a breath


Blanketing the kitchen

Once was a forest of green

Which I eagerly explored

Just learning to crawl

While Grandma baked cookies

And family drank wassail

And snow fell gently outside

And a distant voice sang about Emmanuel

Now there is no singing, no snowfall, no forest

No cookie recipe to be found or remembered

Only artificial hardwood

Stealing away the green kitchen carpet

Taking bygone Christmases with it too

I cross the threshold one last time

Not greeted by the well worn rocking chair

Or the coffee table littered with decades of scrapbooks

Or the tube TV playing Saturday morning cartoons

Or the lively kitchen filled with daughters making dinner

Or the green kitchen carpet that only we could love

Or the relic rotary phone ringing on the wall

My coat hangs lonely in the closet 

Knowing I will be ushered out before the weekend comes


One final stay, one last goodbye

Searching for comfort in a cold, empty house

Watching reflections of the good old days


What will they change,

The new family who bought our memories?

And will they feel our echoes

Whispering faintly through the leaves?

Will they feel me linger

The dog who guards these things? 

I just came to say I miss you

And I love you

And hello.

Hannah Duffield is a sophomore at UW Platteville majoring in Forensic Investigation. She has been passionate about writing for as long as she can remember and dreams of publishing a novel one day. When she isn't writing, she is found baking or dancing. She can type 85 words per minute.

Mikayla Faivre is from North Freedom, Wisconsin, and is majoring in Animal Science. She has always been enamored by storytelling and spends her spare time reading or writing. Mikayla is a recipient of the David Cole Award in Creative Writing. This is her second year as an editor for the Spirit Lake ReviewFind her on Instagram:

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