Get NiftyLit news & updates delivered directly to your inbox. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Skip to main content

Coming Home

John Brantingham

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.