Every letter in my mailbox is addressed to the previous owner of the house.

Every tree on the property has chosen to branch in high places,

providing no opportunities for even the most industrious of climbers.

My neighbors are building something in their backyard;

it is tall and casts

its shadow stretching over my garden bed. 

Before the power outage, I misunderstood the light.

Ice melted and swamped the floor.

Had it been permitted,

the smoke of my fire would have turned these walls grey.

The animals I fear are still smaller and weaker than the ones that sleep in my bed;

mildew grows quietly and knows

it is safe.

We must decide which holidays deserve decoration

and whether to put out the flag on the Fourth.

How much money will we spend on colored lights visible only from the street?

First, we soil the floor 

so that we may again sweep and feel pride.

Neighbor children will knock at the door,

expecting candy.

-Bella Braxton

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