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wild garden – poemgrown

not to be demolished

for Colvin House

Dear Colvin, 


Love makes us that way.


Sure, we get a little crumbly. 

A little loose in the tiles, a little cracked 

up top from the weight of time passing, but

when a loving hand touches the very heart of us 

then refuses to let go,

we cannot be demolished.


Dear Colvin, 


The loving hand that refused to let go?  Mine.


You had me at “for sale.” 


The second I saw your picture online, I fell. Hard.

I wanted to kiss your columns right then

but I waited until the paperwork was official, until 

you were mine. Then I leaned in for a long one.


I couldn’t stay away. 

Even before renovations began, 

I would stop by to say hi, and always 

birds were singing, bunnies hopping 

around the grounds, flowers 

blooming wild and free. Always, I felt at peace.


Do you remember what I whispered to you when

the lake breeze found me on your lawn? 


“I can’t wait to share your magic with everyone.”


Dear Colvin,


You are a Chicago Landmark 

and I am a woman who loves houses. 

The daughter of an architect.


You are in my blood, Colvin, every tulip and triangle, 

every 1920s redesigned-for-the-second-time nuance.

Even the disrepair of the last 20 years 

didn’t turn me off.


Just the opposite.

I feel electric when I’m around you.


Dear Colvin,


At last, I get to share your magic with everyone.


May every person who passes through 

your lovingly restored doors feel 

the warmth, the beauty, 

the endless possibility of you 

as they co-work and co-play, 

co-meet and co-make.


Thank you Colvin,

for this journey of a lifetime.


History has her best dress on tonight, and

it’s our first dance as landmark and owner.


Let the celebration begin.


written by cin salach and commissioned by Angela Valavanis,

on the occasion of the grand opening of the Colvin House, October 2017

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