They’ve changed the house beyond all recognition,

cut down the conifers which screened the door,

dug up the flowers our fading mother planted,

paved over most of what was once a garden.


We imagine them imagining their mission

to solidify the air, adding a floor

and (we guess) an extra bathroom – bulkily mounted

on what used to be the garage.

                                             Are those their children


slamming a door, and shouting? They’ll grow up here,

not sensing the vanished walls which are the firm

frontiers of our memory, or how


little by little, year after thoughtless year,

these recent bricks will build their past, to form

what they must lose, as we know we have, now.


First published in Snakeskin 234, November 2016