the small cabin. by margaret atwood.
from the ground up when we were young
(three rooms, the walls
last year they said
I didn’t see it, and so
the house is still there in me
among branches as always I stand
inside it looking out
at the rain moving across the lake
but when I go back
to the empty place in the forest
the house will blaze and crumple
suddenly in my mind
collapsing like a cardboard carton
thrown on a bonfire, summers
crackling, my earlierselves outlined in flame.
Left in my head will be
the blackened earth: the truth.
Where did the house go?
Where do the words go
when we have said them?