Houses Out of Envelopes

I was a child (more than I am now) when my grandmother shared with me the world.

She’d get mail, like all adults tend to, and leave the blank envelopes for weekends.

Weekends when I’d visit her with my mother, and she would teach me how to draw.

How to draw a door on the bottom of an envelope.

How to use a pen to draw lines on the plastic windows-

 where the addresses show through.

How to lay bricks over paper.

How to draw flowers under the windows

 and signs on the doors.

How to make houses out of envelopes.

 

And if you had a bunch of houses,

You could line them all up and have a tiny town.

You could imagine tiny people and their tiny lives,

And they were not so unlike me, or my grandmother, or my mom.

And it wasn’t until I was older that I realized that this is when I learned what “art” was.

Art was making something new out of something old.

Making something up, a story, where there had been nothing.

Art was making houses out of paper and pen,

And being conscious of the lives of people like yourself.

 

When I “grew” up, and my grandmother left,

I didn’t stop drawing houses on my envelopes.

Art became my life-

not just envelopes, but paintings and drawing and theatre.

And I realized that this was how I wanted to spend my life-

Making art

And houses out of envelopes.

 

Now, things are moving even faster.

The chapters in my life are changing and soon I’ll face the real world.

I want art to be my life, my career, my reason for getting up in the morning.

I want to make my living selling the paintings and the drawings.

I want to buy a house with art.

I want that to be my story-

Making houses out of envelopes.

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