The sickly crunch of the digger’s metal teeth
Tearing into it. Jaws unhinged, incisors pierce
the sagging skin and rip downward through
weakened bone: the shy skeleton of our house.
The vicious series of snaps
are the loudest sounds we’ve heard.
And the teeth keep working; cruelly chew
through doors and curtains, pipes and passages.
Spit them out into a pile of twisted innards
for buyers and scavengers and graverobbers.
It wasn’t when the chimney crumbled
into red dust that settled on our tongues,
and it wasn’t when the porch shuddered
before its quiet, swift collapse. It was
when we saw that flash of purple — a strip
of the wallpaper that we pasted to the nursery
wall two weeks before she was born —
it was then that the house broke.