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Orphaned Slab

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Orphaned Slab

Orphaned Slab 
         by Odin Roark

They call me a foundation
once supporting siding and stone

Through the doors of my house
trailed family and friends
across kitchen floor
slanted slightly
letting Benny’s agate marbles
migrate to the corner

Atop my shoulders
a house of character once stood
usual middle class floor plan
even allowing spidery webs
their solace in pantry corners
squirrels their roof
foraging to cottonwood trees
shading the three second-story bedrooms
kept perfect for home visits
from children away at college 

Everett’s TV room rocker
always moving back and forth
massaged my back
it was a mild massage through the flooring
mostly my imagination
coming as it did
through layered rugs and cat hair

used to hear mother’s complaints
“That old vacuum is useless.  We need a Kirby, damn it”
He’d usually stop his rocking for a second or two
then let her know “Just lean in more.  All it needs.”
and back to his rocking  “Kirby.  Out of her mind.”


Come spring break
Sara’s boombox
was rocking of another kind
no imagination needed there
reminded me how secure
this old foundation was
until the afternoon when… 

Felt like a distant train
but the clackety-clack of rail cars
was out of sync
out of control

Wind moved in
then rain
then wind and rain
then that God-awful train again
had to be from Hell
or someplace worse
thundering through…

It was a long night

Been a long couple of weeks

Weeds and spider webs now connect
through cracks in my body

A squirrel or two survived
peeking about once in a while
still clinging to their downed cottonwood
wishing the foraging path was still there
wishing there was something to forage

I’m just a surviving foundation
awaiting tomorrow’s sunrise
hoping for just the right temperature
early in the morning
before the sun adds its bleaching effect
and I start to remember again

Perhaps I’ll have earned
some afternoon showers
some nourishment for the weeds
some droplet sparkles
for my spidery friend’s web
and who knows…

We’re regretful of so much loss
the other slabs and me
but a foundation is a foundation
that’s what we’re built for
The start-ups
The start-overs

Orphan today
adopted tomorrow

So goes the life of a slab
A life some might say
is a thankless existence

Not so

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