The asbestos shingle fell off long ago,
Along the wall in front,
Where the living room hides behind closed curtains.
She won’t recall when or where it even went.
The yard, larger than most,
Along this back street of small homes
And odd-sized yards.
Is only slightly overgrown,
In the way that chores
sneak past habit,
To sporadic neglect.
Ringed in a low fence,
That once kept a dog in,
Or a playing child safe from harm.
Simple things like that, they once had,
Or at least dreamed of.
But years of cigarettes and drink,
In a long night of oblivion.
Happily-ever-after into eternity
Came to an end,
But she stopped crying long ago.
The days now might looked rehearsed,
Her shift at the grocery store,
Unchanged for the last three years.
There was the time her brother came out
And the fellow down the street,
Who would call from time to time,
Their appearances so long ago,
But seeming like yesterday.
In a place where time keeps pace
With the falling of an asbestos shingle
From the living room wall.
She rarely looks me in the eye,
Like she did then,
Pulling off a cigarette,
While the sun casts crimson
Across a high cloud deck
With a single opening out east,
Where she imagines great blue winged dragons
Will fly in,
And dance around the yard.