It's no secret, our old place
needed a tonsillectomy –
drafts wheezing down the front stairs,
horsehair plaster poxed and patchy
like a sore throat.
I know you hated it,
your sleep uneasy for twenty years,
a bad wire smoldering in your dreams.
Ours the only family
that had to practice fire drills.
The new bracelet for your birthday
has one stone for each squirrel
that died in the walls,
and one for the feral cat
living in the porch roof.
Let this autumn exfoliate
our memory, shed old tissue for new –
the leaves drifting down
like dead skin, like paint peeling
from the siding.
The Sunday Muse