Wise Poets – Mary Angelino – Remodeling

Mary Angelino

Struck with purpose, my father and grandfather 
worked silently together, in a language
of pointing and nods. My brother and I knew
not to ask questions when we brought them lunch 
on plastic trays: tuna salad sandwiches
swaddled in napkins, the pitcher of lemonade 
that left vanishing halos on top of the brick wall. 
They’d work until the sky forgot the sun,
our new red door (only one in the neighborhood)
pulsing beneath the streetlights’ glow. My father

would lose that house and never earn enough
to own again. What mattered 
was they let us carve our names
into wet cement. And for two perfect months 
she was whoever we wanted her to be—
that woman kneeling in the moonlight—
the marble sink shimmering 
in the middle of a wall-less, roof-less room.


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