926 W. Grove

926 W. GROVE

my boyhood home was
                        calm and serene
until the day when
firefighters rushed in
to put out a small fire
burning undetected
under the house in the

I remember playing
                        in the backyard
amid honeysuckle bushes
how stray cats pissed in the sandbox
the soccer goal my father built for me
how my errant kick sent the ball
crashing through the plate glass

I stopped by for a look
                        in my twenties
the house still standing but
smaller than in memories
dingy and dilapidated like the
neighbourhood surrounding it
grass growing knee high
                        I looked

on Google Maps and found it
                        burned down
fire gets what it wants eventually
now it’s just a vacant lot on a quiet
street in a quiet town in Texas
where the moist black dirt smells
the same as it always has but
                        everything else changed

 J. Archer Avary

J. Archer Avary is a former television journalist, marine conservationist, and champion lionfish hunter. His work has appeared in Bright Flash Literary Review and Guernsey Poets. He was born in Albuquerque, NM and lived in several US cities including Omaha (NE), Milwaukee (WI), Asheville (NC) and Atlanta (GA) before moving to Grand Cayman in 2014. He currently resides in Guernsey with his wife where he is a furloughed aviation worker.


  1. I really enjoyed this poem, thanks for sharing it.

  2. I had long forgotten that broken window, but did slice my thumb replacing it, requiring multiple stitches. Thanks for the memories - Love Dad!

Previous Post Next Post