by Amy Kitchell-Leighty
They buried our old house next to our new house
after it caught on fire twenty years ago. That night
my brother and I ran to the neighbors as oxygen and fire
pushed against each other and blew out the dining room
windows. Our father stood outside with the garden hose.
It was November and cold. The only things saved were
a basket of mismatched socks and a basket of clothes
to be ironed that somehow made their way out the door
with my mother. Our buried house is roofed
in sink holes around our yard. Places where you walk
which causes you to slip several inches into the ground, openings
where a chunk of dirt is missing and grass will not grow.
It’s sad, really, because this was the spot in our yard
where we played kickball but now have learned to walk
around it in fear of the pull beneath. Our possessions—
blackened, melted, damaged by water—were thrown
into this colossal hole, succumbed to the earth:
Star Wars figures, pom poms, prom dresses,
living room furniture, Cabbage Patch dolls
all trying to claw their way back out into our lives.
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