Tear Down

Yesterday the house next door came down;
It couldn't have taken twenty minutes.
Someone must have taken pride in its going up, fifty years ago,
Slowly, stick by stick,
Bricks laid, nails hammered into place.
I remember it as almost new,
Walking by, catcher's mitt in hand.
Now parts of the histories of five families
Lie hidden in the rubble:
Outcroppings of twisted pipe,
The head of a child’s stuffed animal
And a couple of cans of soup, unopened, abandoned,
Prey, like bricks and beams, for the speculator's bulldozer
I walk around the broken boards and think
Of reputations, wealth and marriages,

Things easily destroyed.
Back in our house, I turn on the computer
And, I'm not sure why, search for the names and addresses
Of the guys who played in the infield
For the Philadelphia Athletics in the summer of 1948.

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