If you know how to use a wrecking bar
your walls will show you what they have to hide.
Slipshod pipes of course, and non-conforming wires,
and private shame as well.
Nailed to the splintered lath
I found a canvas bag of letters, old ones,
fountain-penned in faded ink,
The story of a lovelorn boy at school,
Of caning, misery, and no replies.
Mere secret heartbreak may not move me now
but then, my neighbor did confess at death Dad never left.
He’d died unmourned, and she went on with no regrets
and only spoke to save her girls the shock
of opening the walls.