Bart Wolffe


They say we will return to where we started from.

Not this house, derelict with ruin, its useless chrysalis now torn

And childhood fled. The gutted rooms, eyelids of mosquito gauze

In shreds, wire remnants twisted like the war that claimed its walls.

Bricks fallen, that which might inhabit my legacy,

A white-skinned gecko perhaps or an invisible mantis

Clinging under fallen rafters blackened by fire to a charcoal amputee.

Weeds claim the corners where the dust lies, a history of silence.

I cannot speak the violation before me. I am broken here.

Bougainvillea and other creepers still protest some former glory

Against the shattered windows open to the bats at night.

They inhabited the fruit trees once since hacked to stumps

And this visit is enough to tell me I am not welcome,

No longer is this my home, nor is this a land where I belong.


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