Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)
TITLE: In My Father's House
By Jan Ackerson
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As the years passed, the house filled up with the chaotic sounds of children. Within its three bedrooms, twelve children marked off small territories they could claim as their own. Twelve voices laughed and cried, squabbled and teased. Twelve pairs of feet wore smooth paths in the wooden floors; twelve times each morning the screen door slammed as the children scampered off to school.
There was a constant battle in the house between coal dust and cleanliness. Black dust entered through the back door every evening and settled on the walls, the floor, the furniture. It was immediately scoured and scrubbed away, only to return the next day.
My father’s house still stands in that valley, its siding permanently faded to gray, its shutters hanging askew, missing shingles revealing bare sections of roof. It is occupied now only by echoes of memories.
On a street paved with gold in the heavenly city sits my Father’s house. Throughout the centuries, millions have walked through its shining gates, world-weary no longer. The sounds heard within are their voices, raised eternally in worship. No unclean thing will ever touch its walls, nor will it ever deteriorate or fade.
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