Leaning House

by Robyn Hunt

You probably don’t know my name but recognize me, a familiar man
sewn long ago from the quilt of a trusting mother.

Mostly I curl up inside myself.

My eyes are green and brown as mountain piñon. I wear thinning long purple underwear
in the morning in fall and winter, and warm socks late into the day.

What I love best is laughter, cold water running through my hands. First born son,
soon to have sisters, in a village on the rim of a muddy West Texas canyon, relocated
to a Spanish city of faith.

I think my eyes are kind. I should have been a whole man with no mystery inside of me,
but others don’t see me that way, look away. Except my mother

I know the baby ghosts that haunt the corner foundation of the downtown luxury hotel,
once a sturdy hospital of good nuns.

Many of the piñon are dead now.

My safe quilt is slowly shredding at the seams. My father, dead eleven years, whispers,
tells me to stand up straight. He prays secretly that his son is fed.

That no one will tear down his leaning house. Someday I will come in safely from the rain,
enter through the garage and give my mother twelve perfect roses.

My smile softening inside her patient eyes.