A river house by Ilona Martonfi

    Wide plank oak floors, marble fireplace.
    Eight pine windows. Pine doors.
    The walled garden, solarium,
    ice apple, white berries of snowberry,
    corpse berries

    the wooden yard sign:

    stripped of memories.

    Oh, my daughter,
    the street you used to live on —
    four of you drew names in wet concrete.
    Don’t look at the house,

    don’t look at the Foreclosure Sale.
    Number of bedrooms, closets: three.
    Number of bathrooms: two.
    Cedar sauna, pool. Garage.
    Cellar kitchen. White ceramic floor tiles.

    Split-level bungalow, Anjou.
    East end property by the Saint-Lawrence.
    Year built: 1951. Lot size 80 by 60 feet.
    Some forty people were there, a crowd,
    then, the auction began.
    Don’t look at the curious.
    Owner defaulted on taxes.
    Notes about wife beating.

    Clay roof tile, under the eaves,
    sparrow nests boarded —

    lime wash walls tinted ochre.
    Crawl space: unfinished.
    Opening bid $95,000.
    “It was cheap.”

    There you were with your brother.

    People walking through.

    Ilona Martonfi Author of two poetry books, Blue Poppy, (Coracle Press, 2009.) Black Grass, (Broken Rules Press 2012). Charivari, (Coracle chapbook, 2013). Published in Sunday @6 Literary magazine, Vallum, Accenti, The Fiddlehead, Serai. Poet, editor, teacher. Founder/producer of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings, co-founder of Lovers and Others. QWF 2010 Community Award.

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