It started with the grackles
just after dawn
waves of them chattering
black and purple and iridescent.
As one wave subsided
another would be building.
It went on for so long
that my neck was stiff
from looking up in wonder.
Their wings making soft thumping sunds.
Totem of the emotionally congested
Perhaps a colonic cleanse?
Or maybe just a drive around the familiar streets
of a formerly familiar place.
It was my home.
Now it is a crowded and dusty attic
filled with the detritus
of a life that no longer exists.
Our first house —
fence gray weathered and rickety
weeds instead of lavender at its edges
the Chrysler Imperial Rose no longer gracing the door with rich red cinnamon scent
the neighborhood itself shabby and untended
full of strangers
The white wood-sided chapel where we married that gray November day
replaced a few blocks away
with a grand brick building
where another building used to be
the one you worked in.
There are hot tears and choking sounds
as the pain of this new reality
forces itself on me
and the old memories
Home is a different place now.