How to Build a Home

Start with four walls and a roof

Add a floor, some windows

A door to get inside

Put a mat just inside the door


Kick off your shoes on the mat

Let them pile up every day

Drop your keys and your worries on the table

Drape your coat over the back of a chair 


Fill shelves with your favorite books

And among them tuck stories that you’ll tell

Around the dinner table

Like the one when your eyelids froze shut skiing in Vermont


Hang pictures on the wall 

Pictures of your family

That bring you back to the day on the beach

The photo was taken


Buy some pots and pans

Cook something new and complicated like gnocchi

Cook something old and delicious like grandma’s meatballs

Set off the fire alarm making toast


Put some furniture in the house

A big blue couch for watching movies

A giant beige chair where you’ll read Harry Potter in front of the fire

A coffee table for collecting anything and everything


Buy a bed and some sheets

Love someone in those sheets

Love someone until there’s a bunch of little someones

Running around


Buy a new table for your family

Sit around it and have lunch

Laugh when a tiny someone 

Spreads Mac & Cheese all in their hair


Put a swingset in the backyard

Make sure there’s a slide and a treehouse

Call in your pirates and princesses for dinner

But not before someone walks the plank


Buy a Christmas tree

Put presents all around it 

And play the Muppets Christmas album in the morning

Memorize the expressions of joy


Put clothes in drawers and dresses on hangers

And clean them out every couple of years

Remember when you wore that shirt to the Jason Aldean concert

Best night of your life


Get a furry little something

Let her sleep on the couch and in bed with you

Be astounded at how the fur never seems to leave

No matter how often you vacuum


Have friends and family over often

Make food together, eat food together

Reminisce, laugh, cry

Tell the stories you put on the shelves


When you’re all done

Leave for a little 

Experience things

Do what you’ve always wondered about


Wander until you feel very lost

Explore until you’ve never felt so alone

When you feel like nothing is going right

And you don’t know what to do


Go back to that roof and four walls

Kick off your shoes on the mat

And if everything is somehow miraculously all better

Know that you’ve built a home