My Architect Aunt and Uncle Underground

Amanda Holstien

Uncle Robert’s wake is over,
and everybody has left except us.
“What a lovely house”
“Is she staying at the house now that he’s gone?”
resounded down halls and filled up rooms.

Skulls by Patricia Zazueta

The cause of his death is uncertain to others,
but here, my Aunt Brenda sits,
here, my Aunt Brenda stares,
because this house was built by her and her lover.

Breathe through the walls,
Peer down the halls,
Brenda, walk steady.
Keep a level head.

Light a few candles,
and switch off all the lights.
We have some thinking to do,
but I am still mourning his death.

Yes, we all know the truth.
A family of planners, teachers, and preachers,
but nothing to say.

Long lost laughter echoes in our hearts
because a member of our Bloodline’s blood
is on our Bloodline’s hands.

Brenda sits across from Professor Mother,
and two seats down from Preacher Grandfather.
One seat to the right and in front of him sits Cousin John,
whose lap holds a pillow that holds my head.

A family built so bold,
but in this house that they built,
even the strongest walls can’t hold our guilt.

All of this symmetry
is killing me.

So I quickly sit up
as my tears fall down,
and here my voice resounds;
Aunt Brenda, break this mold,
confess the truth.
You’re the builder,
and you’re the mastermind,
but this death hangs over our heads,
while Uncle Robert’s body lies under our feet!”

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Archives: Spring 2010.

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