Before the County Takes Possession

In the house with the fence flattened out all around us,
we breathe softly in the night, bellies stuck out with beans
and tortilla, the loneliness of the last, tepid beer gulp.
The gate that creaks so terribly, the empty horse field,
the peacocks wandering somewhere unseen, crying out
like lost children, the disemboweled houses surrounding us
like tombstones, and the light still coming in the window,
the birds feigning obliviousness to all the torture
this earth has suffered, they keep singing, the lizards
stick out their bubble throats, the dew mists into the air,
into me, an energy I can’t understand. I wouldn’t say
we knew it here, I wouldn’t say this was home,
even though I would like to, but I am not entitled.
At Lin’s yard sale I finally see the insides of her torn out home,
come back triumphant with a new wallet, straw hat,
an Onion Creek Endurance Team linen shirt,
and she lays out our story for us: we lived briefly
at the end of a legendary ranch,
watching from our windows
as strangers drive down the dirt road, hauling away
the metal gates, the golf cart, planks of wood from the stable,
waiting for them to come for our red walls, the loft ladder,
the refrigerator, until our little cottage falls to its knees
before us, two more strangers asking too much.

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3 Comments

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  1. This is vivid and heartbreaking. A wonderful tribute.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the journey this poem takes me on, from one who is an outsider, a mere observer of the action, to one who is herself, if not a victim, then at least a participant in the action, equally losing the possessions of her host’s (former?) home.

    Like

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