Gutted

By Jane Muschenetz

As published in Sheila Na Gig, Fall 2021

they worked on the building behind our street,
for five months straight, two crews
took the old walls down to the studs,
replaced rotten wood with the sawmill smell of possibility
for weeks, it stood bare to the wind
opening the neighborhood to concepts of improvement
easily, the first floor could hold a sidewalk cafe
with windows that bring the outside in when the weather is nice
the second floor could be housing, much needed, we all agreed
maybe a rooftop bar to catch the sunset view
over the park across the way?
I walked by it today
they covered the new walls in concrete
the grey is pretty close to the color it used to be
not one window was added, not one door made wider