Coming Home Early

I came home today before everyone else
and began the privilege of privacy by laying
on my bed with the door flung open
to the light pattern of the stair railings.

When I rose, I was in the mind
of Bertha liberated from her attic prison,
shaking her hair loose over her shoulders
in the emptied Thornfield Hall.

The house unfolded with every step I took
and offered me each room as a ransom,
showing me how afternoon clouds lace
forgotten tea mugs and knotted armchairs.

I paused at the bathroom where we had laid
our clothes to dry over the showerhead
and counters after last night’s downpour
ended our discussion on the roof.

It struck me that I had what Bertha never could,
that this was no longer some failing imitation
of the homes I used to have but home itself
come alive by the breath of our dreams.

I walked back up the stairs on my tiptoes
pretending I wore a dress the color of sky
and returned to my room, leaving the door wide
as I waited for the others to come home.


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