“Your statutes stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days, O LORD.”
It was fun for a while,
you laughing and I hit my head on the bedpost.
The house in our heads was orange siding,
plastic with brick-colored paint
and real ivy. I didn’t think much of it
at the time, just knew her diaphragm was smiles and that
we’d be covered forever in the biggest sounds of joy.
Our house would open her huge mouth warmly.
In honor of her happiness we dressed her
in interlocking paper rings, the kind you make
when you’re four feet tall and it’s Christmas and you just
need to cut paper, you absolutely must
(or Santa might think no one cares
and you can’t dream of his ho-ho-ho’s in the attic
bedroom Daddy only let you sleep in
twice a year, too sick with conscience’s thickness).
It was fun for a while, like giggling about Jacob
in your five-year-old best-friend-forever’s tub.
We all know how the picture book ends.
Its colors fade
because the family Labrador left it in the sun
when he grew sick of paper’s flavor (not knowing
what he’d found appealing in the first place)
and no one remembers
anything but the shape of Prince Charming’s jaw.