We need to talk about what
Happened in that burnt-out house
On Hazel. You were my first playmate, our mothers
Were friends. When you moved
I was lost for a long time. We roamed the neighborhood with
little supervision and sometimes found
Ourselves in peril
Looking back, Several things happened at once: I entered puberty, you left, and I started hating myself.
I have a disturbing memory of us playing in that burnt-out house; a disjointed laugh,
A missing slice of time
A discourse I’ll have with the night, because I’ll never have the courage to broach it with you.
M.L. Fenton is a life-long resident of the Monongahela river valley of Pennsylvania. The collapse of the steel industry, subsequent deterioration of the of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as the rivers themselves serve as inspiration for her poetry.