Faulty Wiring by Joel Best

Faulty Wiring

There was a house
Near the playground
Where my son played
When he was very young
All the afternoons
As he worked in the sandbox
I watched him
And also watched the house
From the corner of my eye
Without intention
I memorized the house
Sagging roof
Peeling clapboard
Cracked front window
The same way I memorized
The movements of my son
How he shaped the sand
Creating mountains
Carving valleys
This tiny god-creature
Deft of hand
He and the house
Two entities vying
For space in my thoughts
Many years later
I’ve forgotten much about my son
Things no father should ever forget
You try to hold on
Each small piece slips away
Fades from recollection
The lovely god who was
And now no longer
While the house
The damned house
That never meant anything to me
Remains in perfect focus

by Joel Best

Editor’s Note: Memory is so frustratingly fickle. This poem uses simple imagery to convey the passage of years—a reader is almost lulled into complacency until you realize the title and the end of the poem neatly tie into the description of the disintegrating house.


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