We built a house
We built a house
With our bare hands
Cementing, disheveled, shoveling
Meticulously constructing a secure foundation
Preparing plans, re-planning, reconstructing.

We built a house
But I was hungry
And bored of the labor
Menial
Meticulously constructing a way out
Of us
Not a legacy passed down or a legacy given up
But a tool, a link, a place
A house
With glass windows and wooden doors
Capable of opening
And closing
Shutting out and shutting in
A foundation secure in its power
To stabilize
And mobilize
And elevate
And let us breathe.

Sometimes castrated by splinters
But we made a plan
And pushed out of anguish
And strove out of fear
And used our bodies for the privilege and the opportunity
To pass down to others
Who would pass out of us—undeserving, but beloved
Of the time we wasted
Looking for the means to build
An end.

I never had the answers or the time.
I could only give the little that I had that sought nails
and wood
and earth
and living.

Fearful of the thirst that knew
We could never build a house that would satisfy us.

We built a house.
And stuck a fork in it and called it done.
Called ourselves capable
Called ourselves competent
Called ourselves constructive
Called each other partners.
Just
Called
Each
Other.

A house with glass windows and wooden doors to open and fill in with curiosity
And chaos
Comfort and contempt
Family reunions and funerals
Forgiveness and fragmentation
Compliments and quiet.

We built a house.
We made a plan.
We made a family for ourselves
Not a legacy passed down
Or a legacy given up
But a link
A tool
A place
A home
With windows and doors
Capable of opening and closing.

4/14/2004

 

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