You live in a house that never existed.

Kiss goodbye the yellow Congo tile
of your grandmother’s kitchen

Do not stand at your Mother’s dresser
with her brush in your hair

Or sit in the dusky corner
where your father kept his books

Why do you climb unending stairs
to walk in rooftop gardens
that were never planted?

Why do you cry
For your forgotten sanctuary
its red cedar walls
its portrait of the Sacred Heart?

Do not confuse

being the foundation
of your house

with being the bones
In the basement.

Do not forget

You are more
than the calcium shell
you dwell in.

In this maze of tile and plaster

Remember those small rooms
you built of hardwood and sunshine.

Live in mercy there.

Written by Lori Nissley – Baltimore, Maryland – United States

Feature Photo by Dan Asaki

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