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Vanished Houses

By John I. Blair

For reasons best explained
By urban planners,
Every house weve dwelled in
Since our move to Texas years ago
Is gone except the one at hand.

It was so sad I could not watch
The places that wed lived
When dozers pushed their shattered ribs
Off the strangely shrunken slabs
On which wed danced and sung.

If home is where the heart is,
What fate befalls a vanished home?
I hold planed planks and shingled shakes
Can remain eternal, ageless,
As long as memory survives;

So though I recognize
This room that here surrounds me,
So familiar, solid-seeming,
Painted, hung with pictures,
As just a shell of plaster,

Boards and nails,
As doomed to dust as I,
Ill deem it always as my castle,
If only as a haunted ruin
In my romantic mind.

2010 John I. Blair


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