The brightly colored signs
that tell you the city has condemned
abandoned houses or old buildings
are coming up this spring like crocuses.
You catch them out of the corner
of your eye whether you are looking
for them or not, and you think back
to the time you went over to that place,
your friend’s house in junior high,
and had a water balloon fight in the yard
or played Monopoly because you couldn’t
sled in the slush or how grateful
your uncle was to have a job
buried somewhere in the middle
of that big brick building.
Your uncle passed away fifteen years ago,
and you suppose the flesh that made him
has been reabsorbed into the land.
That’s where all the buildings
of your childhood memory
are headed as well, back home
into the inevitable earth.