After Happily Ever After Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Taking Down the House

We bring our pickaxes; we dig
beneath the translucent skin

for a blue electric vein
as plaster flies. We follow the stains

from ceiling to baseboard,
cheek to chin.

If the children cry, we tell ourselves
they won’t remember.

Place no blame
for what shattered the walls. They’ll take up

their own hammering and, grown

they’ll shoulder rucksacks and axes
into the basement,

burrowing for the good line,
the one we once found

for them,
before the walls came down.


October 2003 2River