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House on the Corner

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She tells me a story
Of how a child built her house
And died the next day
Hit by a speeding truck.

I, of course,
Do not believe her
As I have watched her build the house
Watched her paint the walls with yellow crayon
Hang broken bottles from the ceiling.

She tells this story often
It has become her favourite song
An oft-said prayer
It has become as real to her as any person or place
More so, perhaps, than most.

I visit her frequently
Taking my place among the broken bottles
And gaping sofas
Let her touch my face, softly,
And watch her mouth as she describes
Her own silent traffic death.

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