Let’s say there’s been a robbery.
My windows are open; I can smell my neighbor’s meat loaf.
People crowd around a table and it’s not mine.
I sit alone among shredded paper, an empty television stand,
books scattered like pigeon feathers.
Let’s say there’s been a violation, a line crossed over.
My cat roams the living room howling for her brother.
And I don’t know who did it
I can imagine
him breaking open the window – that first vomit of glass –
I can almost smell his leather gloves with the worn-out tips.
But what good does this imagining do me?
Let’s say there’s been a violation. That I was a child who thought
that being tall made you smarter, safer.
That my hands were forced somewhere out of greed and sickness.
Let’s say an event occurred where I didn’t know
the culprit and if I did know him, I would soon forget.
Do I sit
among the ruins for another twenty years
or do I actually begin to put things in order?
Buy a new potted plant? A new bed? Walk into
that house as though yes, I owned it.
I would put it back together again.
Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of poetry collections “We Nod Our Dark Heads” and “Motherlung” which was awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association. Brodsky is on faculty of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, teaching creative writing as a vehicle for emotional healing.