Our House

 I had a home with an orange tree in the backyard,

although it died in a terrible freeze. The shag carpet held the cigarette smell

no matter how many times I cleaned it. The sonic boom of a rocket 

returning home. Another home

had a fig tree, although I never ate them. A short walk to the Adriatic Sea

that was almost always sleet gray. 

My home growing up had cardinals and a covered porch,

a lilac bush outside my window. The cat would climb it at night

and meow at my window. 

Another home had a pool with tiny lizards, although 

we never swam. Another home had a power station behind it

on Als Strasse that buzzed all night. But the neighbors had a lovely pond. 

This house has old windows that are coming away from the bricks,

old carpet and cracked plaster, the bathtub separates from the wall,

and lets the ants in in springtime. 

But this is John's only childhood home he will remember.

Where his little feet pounded up and down all day long.

Where he climbed into our bed and wrapped his leg around mine.

I never knew I could sleep on a ledge. 

And Tom below us never complained about the noise. His father's tools 

were taken in the big cleanup so now only Tom's ghost 

remains. And all of our memories. 


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