It’s as if you wished the shutters, installed at sixteen
to sharpen contrast with the shade you and your siblings
skinned over the house years earlier, would stay straight.
Thirty years gone, their off-white slats hang awkwardly
in a way no level and no nail could seamlessly realign,
as if no care has been paid since to your upbringing.
The paint too has been scraped away by weather to reveal
something underneath, a dull yellow neglect, or yelling,
the rot of mystery being gnawed away by now and then insects.
A couple months ago I visited the town and the house I grew up in. I was disturbed by the run down condition of that house, my house, that no one had painted it since I was in high school, that the bushes around the house had died, that it was littered with junk, that its life and vibrancy was just… gone. I hadn’t been able to even attempt to write about it until I heard Dan Klass talk about a similar experience on the Bitterest Pill. The title is stolen directly from his mouth at the end of the podcast.