—Casey FitzSimons

Our lot so narrow
front to back that the row of three
recycle bins recently delivered rests
against pink stucco in what the blueprint
called a garden bed—a ditch, really—front stoop
so small that to open the door you have to stand
on the lower step, reach up.

There have always been futures
I dared not dream, one
of a huge old house, entitlement to it
written between names on a Bible leaf, people
with plain faces who worked at growing apples, fell
in love under delicate blossoms, stepped in button shoes
through histories of children stricken
with whooping cough, cousins nicked by harrows, parents
whose hands were held to ease their dying.

No porch overhangs here, no mint under lilac
at the side door, no glove-burnished rail
or garden bench. Our only mysteries:
the grass-and-gravel mound at the cul-de-sac, at its foot
a rusted chute half-buried, the cement truck’s trunnion rollers
disintegrating in the trench.

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