Here’s a poem called “Foreclosure” I published in 2015 in the The Kentucky Review, which recently closed its doors after a good three-year run of publishing poetry.
My father was sledgehammer
running into walls.
My mother, the sheet rock,
taped and textured and painted
to keep the insides of the house from showing.
They sparked the rock with alcohol.
From my room at two am, I heard,
hole by hole, the house come down.
Outside a monster made of string
circled through the neighborhood,
screaming the skies fell down.
Through the window I smelled
gas fields on its breath.
Plaster was a remedy for fools.
Everyone that came after
always felt and noticed still
the outline of those holes my father made.
Men like him, thousands,
leveraged into blunt objects, the women,
crumbled to foundations.
I wrote this poem in the middle of Wyoming’s most-recent economic downturn in 2015, a downturn which is still going on. It reminded me of the bust of the mid-1980s, which happened when I was kid.
Booms and the busts that follow, have larger consequences than jobs and population loss.