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Visiting, Poetically, a Home in the Heartland

August 26, 2020


NOTE: Now that we are three-quarters past the onset of August, I, once again, know that I will pass another summer without visiting my Hoosier hometown of Blanford and the house which is my “forever home.” Pondering these warm memories, I wonder if my second book will be a collection of my poems and memoir pieces about my Indiana. However, unfortunately, I know that 2020 will not allow me the time to devote to such a creative project. Thus, in the meantime, I have returned again to the archives of WORDWALK and selected an “Indiana” poem–a “home” poem–to share with you on WORDWALK this 26th of August. I initially wrote the following poem on April 9, 2012, as an exercise for a poetry writing course. The goal was to write a poem of numerous lines, but of only one sentence; additionally, the poem had to be crafted to include enjambment; so, you will find some closely related words falling into different poetic lines. I did greatly enjoy the grammar and punctuation challenge of crafting the 31 poetic lines into one sentence and am pleased that the poem contains 31 poetic lines. In August of 2014, I made some slight revisions to the 2012 version and then posted the revised poem on WORDWALK for the first time.


I hope that you hold in your memory at least one house that is as dear to you as the one in this poem is to me.



Biography of a House in the Heartland


Poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In a locket

in my heart,

I keep and remember this

precious place

with clumps of lilies-of-the-valley clinging

to her east side

like a child’s hand to her father’s hand

while the perennial porch swing, successful hummingbird feeder, and wroth iron

bedeck the large front porch from where

three points of the compass can offer a view of

the lawn (west of the white-rocked driveway) sinking

(due to the abandoned underground coal shaft filling with water)–along with

the field of Christmas trees, the wheat fields and corn fields and

some cattle to the north

until the east span is revealed

between the blue spruce and the gob pile of shale

atop which is unveiled the southern vista of

the field that rolls back to the small woods from where

one can easily walk to the back door of the house

built by my grandfather in 1914

(the year his youngest, my mother, was born)

and lived in by my parents from after

my dad’s four and a half years in World War II until his death at age 84 when

my mother walked circles in the snow

until a neighbor came to help

at this house

where a cerebral hemorrhage took away all

but the memories

and the heart

of a house

in the Hoosier heartland.



With blessings for your house,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


August 26, 2020, Wednesday




From → Uncategorized

  1. joanmyles permalink

    Moving and picturesque. Thank you for sharing this piece again, my darling Alice, blessings and love to you! *willows in mist**glittering butterflies**sunrise over mountains*

    • Hi, Joan–Thank you for reading this poem again, giving it a “like,” and adding a comment!

      Talk with you at the critique session this evening–Alice and Willow

  2. Susan M McKendry permalink

    Alice–This brought tears! My five siblings and myself were lucky enough to live our entire childhood in the house my parents built, one board and nail at a time as weather. leisure time, and finances allowed. I was the first, brought home in March when the house was barely inhabitable. So I do understand your feelings.

    The craftmanship of this poem–all those lines still making for a very readable sentence is again an indication of how much work is involved in writing a truly worthy poem.

    • Hi, Sue–Thanks so much for adding the comment about your family home.  What a special home for you and your siblings!

          Also, I greatly appreciate your comment about the craftsmanship of the poem.  You are so kind with your analysis.

          Finally, many thanks for your most recent e-mail!

      Hopefully, more soon!

      Enjoy those golf-cart rides on the farm–Alice and Willow

  3. Hi Alice,
    Love this poem, even on repeat. The story it tells, the picture it paints of that comfy Blanford home, come right to my mind’s eye and my memories of your home. The references to your parents, so poignant, and so heart rending, add to the emotion your words invoke. Thank you for sharing this work of art.

    Best to you and Willow,


    • Hi, Fran–Thanks so much for taking the time to read this poem again and to leave such a nice comment on WORDWALK!  How nice to hear your impressions of our homeplace also!

          We are so looking forward to your visit next week!

      With much appreciation,

      Alice and Willow

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