PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Peter Scupham remembers Anthony Thwaite in 'Chimes at Midnight' Sinead Morrissey spends A Week in GdaƄsk Rebecca Watts talks with Julia Copus about Charlotte Mew Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski evoke Arseny Tarkovsky and his translator Peter Oram Frederic Raphael sends a letter to William Somerset Maugham
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review New Issue

This article is taken from PN Review 182, Volume 34 Number 6, July - August 2008.

Dollhouse Sheri Benning


Oh, if this old house could talk,
what a story it would tell;
it would tell about the good times
and the bad times as well.
It would tell about the love that lived
and died inside these walls...
Why, if this old house could talk,
all it would say is welcome home.
                    - Loretta Lynn

 'Dollhouse', Sinclair, Manitoba. (Photo: Heather Benning)
'Dollhouse', Sinclair, Manitoba. (Photo: Heather Benning)

In Autumn, as the school bus pulled away from our yard, Heather and I would run to the house, throw aside our school outfits for our worn out 'work clothes', and head to the back forty of our farm where there was an old wooden granary. We spent hours cleaning that granary, though no amount of scrubbing rid the musk of decaying wood, barley chaff, mouse shit, and the debris of swallow nests. If asked what we were up to, we'd mutter something about playing 'pioneer', though this was more of an expedient explanation than an actual indicator of what we were doing. Together, but isolated - both of us immersed in our own imagined worlds - Heather and I staged and restaged the granary with rain-bloated furniture, torn books and nick-knacks that we found scattered in the rock-pile behind the dugout, or in the attic of the barn. If we got hungry, we'd raid the ripe ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image