Jul/Aug 2004 Poetry

2416 North 16th Street

by Michael Catherwood

2416 North 16th Street

is insane with weeds: nine foot tall
thistles stand and shake their thorny arms
at the abandoned house. The roof has been torn
apart by axes where the fire pawed its hungry
hands. We flail down the confusion like war,
a filthy test for our unsure feet: garbage, clothes,
a found shed filled with a stink that could bend metal.

And I think it comes down to the shed—
what happened here—how some put their lives
on hold, buried their hearts with the clutter,
then left. And I want to break in there to understand
the people by what they did leave. The tin is old
and stubborn, and I want to disrupt the disorder.


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