Sarah Strong, “When my Daughter Builds with Blocks”

She starts with pastures for the animals to graze,
landscape defined by oak rectangles
running the perimeter of her domain
like old stone walls. A dark blue
construction paper pool or pond is placed
beside a gate she then knocks down.
Nearby, two plastic sheep crop handfuls
of real grass (dry but still green)
while a cow and a very small horse look on.

Her farmhouse sits by the pasture’s eastern wall:
roofless, the sunlight streams inside
to where a table (small wooden block)
is draped with a white lace cloth
of toilet paper, and carefully laid
with tiny fried eggs, a bowl of bead oranges,
a pie baked in a bottle cap.
Against the back wall, she’s built the sleeping loft,
secured its ladder of popsicle sticks.

And the people: some with their faces
worn off, some bald;
others with their homemade skirts
held on by rubber bands. Each one
placed so carefully, each named,
all called into being by her hand.
Whenever I am able,
I walk into that house, lie
down on the tissue rug
and gaze up at her sky.

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