I walked in and scared a large frog
Who hopped out
And watched me, balefully
As if I were the intruder.
Careful, careful, in case of snakes
Or like down the road, a crocodile
Who would thrash his tail from side to side
While baring yellow teeth
In an ingratiating smile
As if he wanted to be friends.
Setting the thought aside, I saw
How green mildew stuff had left
Graffiti along the wall
Much as humans do, as I did
Once in Grade 9 – “J was here” –
On a desk.
I didn’t want to see the remains
Of my piano,
If its wood had rotted
Or strings snapped
Or ugly slimy things among the keys.
I left that room alone
To deal with later
Or never, whichever came last.
My books (except the most precious
Which I vaguely remembered moving upstairs
One week ago
When the first streams lapped
Into the garden)
Were sploshy, made
Disgusting squelching noises
As I tried to take them out
Into the belated diluted sun
And, like the other rooms,
The kitchen was bad
The entire house looked like Poseidon
Had trashed it
Either because of some personal vendetta
Or because he’d had a bad day.
More water threatened
To soak the damp floors
As my shoulders slumped
But after all, these were just things
And except for the piano
I hadn’t lost a loved one –
I will bury it in the family plot.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.