TO BUILD HOMES OUT OF BOX HOUSES
(For Marie Clementine)
Something about boxes as make-believe housesDefine their stories of how they must grow away
To stay close, anchored like uncut umbilicus.
Always look homeward, lass, and you will stayTo listen to this old heart’s rhythm in tall tales
Of shadows dancing on the walls, a shadow play
As real as your play-sets, teacups, saucers, kettlesAnd cutlery, all faces of a vibrant dreamworld game
Where abuelo will always be the catcher of shells
And you the full-to-the-brim pitcher of warm joyIn a pretend abode as inchoate as these cardboard
Walls emptied of things grown-ups like for a toy
To build homes with, to brighten shelters with,And think paper pillars are stronger than reed.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA06/14/13, Mississauga