The house is a bell, is a shell snapped shut
is a box with a lid and the lid locked up

is a pocket, is a pouch with the cord pulled tight
is a well with steps treading down from the light.

The house is a whisper, a shrug on the street
the placing on floorboards of soft-slippered feet

is a hole, a cellar, a bookcase on a hinge
is the view from an attic
– daylight of seagulls –
is salt in the wind.

The house is a puzzle, a trick or a chance
movement at a window, the risk of a glance.

The house is a pebble, a ripple on water.
When you walk by, it is stucco, bricks, mortar.


Note: From November 1943 until May 1945, Dorothea Weber nee Le Brocq, hid Jewish Woman Hedwig Bercu in her house at 7 West Park Avenue, St Helier, Jersey. Both women survived the war. Dorothea was posthumously awarded the honour of ‘Righteous Among Nations’ by Yad Vashem in 2016 and was made a British Hero of the Holocaust in 2018. The ceremony was attended by descendants of both women.