The city claimed it needed
a new justice center
and more parking spaces

so my childhood home
and the entire block
were demolished.

I should have expected it.
You could say my family
started the destruction ourselves.

The mural in the kitchen
was painted over.
The Italian countryside

only the perspective was off.
I appreciated the effort.
My mother did not.

A door that folded
in half vertically separated
foyer from living room.

At some point, wood rotted
away and was replaced by
a tin labelled “BREAD”.

I loved the make-do mentality
and pried that bit of history
off and took it with me.

Every year, exotic flowers
burst through the soil –
perennials planted

by the original owner.
No matter the weather,
they always came back.

What became of the dog’s bones
wrapped in his favorite blanket
and buried at the creek’s edge?

Even the water is gone now.
A chasm in the ground echoing
the one in my body and memory.

I thought my brother’s name
in the cement would be
a lasting tribute,

but all the sidewalks
and his efforts 
were ripped away.

The God Tree and
the rose of Sharon
had deep roots,

but they were no match
for the rumble and growl
of the bulldozers and excavators.

My only pleasure:
knowing I was the last
to enjoy their beauty.