Writing Prompt: If These Walls Could Talk

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to share my own writing. I wrote this a week and a half ago of a writing prompt in AT. We all have stories, the things that have shaped us, the people who have left indelible marks in our lives and on our souls. 

Of course, everyone who’s left a mark hasn’t been included or this poem would NEVER end. It’s amazing to me how so many little things are remembered so many years later and how much impact they make on us. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the past over this last week, reminiscing about names and faces and people, the joy and the hurt, the good stuff and the hard stuff, and somehow, I’ve made it here. 

In light of this walk down memory lane, I dedicate this poem to Sue Hauger, my 7th and 11th grade English teacher. She was always a believer in my writing even when I was too young and stupid to believe in it myself. It’s taken nearly 15 years, but I’m embracing it now and without that nugget of encourage from her, I don’t know that I would have picked up writing again. As much as I wish I’d gone to college for English, for what I really love, we all know that the stories written in our hearts would be different and we would be entirely different people. Sue passed away several years ago and I’ve just learned that this year. So, to the Hauger family, if you ever read this, know that Sue left one of the greatest impacts of anyone on my life – her belief in me has shaped who I am and what I’ve chosen to do with my life. I am not the same because of her. I am better. 

Writing prompt: If these walls could talk. 


 

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would they start with Katie or Liwei
My earliest friends?
Or would they begin with Uncle Paul
Where time after time we’d make the calls
To share ridiculous childhood jokes and puns
Or maybe of Amelia and Ashley
And Girl Scout cookies, projects, and paperwork

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of the yelling
And the room doors slamming?
Or would they talk of popcorn sharing
Or little brother scaring
And evening movie watching?
Would they speak of sibling fighting
Of going days without talking
Or would they pass over those years with a sigh?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of high school crushes
Of 7th grade “boyfriends” named Lucas?
Of friends’ summertime set-ups and 8th grade break-ups?
Would they speak of school dance rejections
Of mustering up courage to ask Brett to dance
And the walk of shame, alone, back to my friends?
Would they speak of the people like Mary and Sandi
Of Beth and Heather and the Ashleys?
Of boys like Tad and TJ, of Stephen and Dominic
Or would they pass over those, too?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of church and of youth group
Of the days when Jamie left and Cheryl came
Of the hours spent talking
Afternoons at the kitchen table
Of putting band-aids on AJ’s imaginary owies?
Would they speak of Zach when they first arrived
Or of his middle school transformation?
Would they skip to Josiah and share his teen frustration?
Would they tell of how we all seemed to feel the same
Lost inside our own skin
Unable to fully grasp our feelings
Struggling against adult authority
Would they speak of Megan and Heidi
Of never measuring up?
Would they speak of Kayla and Dani and Melissa
And the security of friends?
Or would they share of Kristin
The epitome of cool
Who somehow always had a place for me?
Would they speak of Sonshine, year after year,
Familiar faces like Danny and Mike and Chris
Or the shows and shirts and merch and the moshing?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of the college days
Of Christina, Jen, and Alli
Would they speak of Colton
Of pills and first loves
The tendrils that curled and gripped and surrounded us
Holding us tight until the vine itself burst
Would they speak of the shattering, the holes and the hurt
Of trying to fill up and hide it
With Cody and Levi and Dave and Tyler and Andy and Wil and Lew
Would they speak of the wandering around, blind in a haze
Day after day after day?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of late night drives to look up at the stars?
Of drinking and talking and forgetting?
Would they speak of heartache and lonely nights
Of wounds hardening into scars?
Would they speak of walks and stolen kisses
And dancing on darkened boats with Matt?
Would they speak of the what ifs
And what could have happeneds
If only I wasn’t so closed?
If maybe perhaps it was Aaron or Dan
Who should have been let in instead?
Would they speak of coffee and momos
And getting lost in other cultures?
Would they speak of being the only white one
In a land mostly white, of actually being the minority
And being welcomed just as I was?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would they speak of accidentally finding the one
At the hands of Jordan and Rachel?
Unwitting accomplices to my happily ever after
That certainly didn’t start that way?
Would they tell of walks and talks and panicked conversations
Or disgusting teas and rainy first dates
And late night Lion King watching?
Would they speak of rushed weeks
Of college papers and exams
And of Miracle and Thanksgiving proposals?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would they speak of anxieties and long midnight chats
Of slowly being comfortable with me?
Would speak of plants, then puppies, then babies
And how by some miracle it happened that way?
Would they speak of long nights and 10 o’clock feedings
And again at 12, 2, and 4?
Would they speak of the ache of a growing heart
And the joy of the most aggravating things?
Or would they speak of the miles spent running
Of marathons, halves, and ultras?
Would they speak of the loss or maybe the memories
Of 3 grandpas gone in 1 year?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Would speak of faith and love
Of God indwelt and Jesus on Earth
And what that means for us all?
Or maybe how my Christmas baby
Was really my own different kind of miracle
To bring the whole Christmas season in to focus.
How ultimatums brought out God’s sense of humor
And how He overturned them all.
How I married a short guy
Who can’t sing or play a note
And how my wedding was the same month as my birthday
Because it was the only Saturday the Pastor could do?
Or how my very first baby came 2 days after Christmas
When I insisted it wouldn’t be like that.
Would they speak of anger and injustice
Or just smile and shake their heads at the irony?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart

Maybe they wouldn’t share any of this
But other stories instead
Of hidden people and forgotten dreams
That ultimately have more meaning?
Or would they store up these treasures
And never actually speak a word?

If these walls could talk
Oh, the stories they would tell
Not the walls of my home
But my heart.

 


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