When my grandparents’ house burnt,
left hollow like a cicada’s shell,
they waited ten years to rebuild it.
The barren kitchen still echoes
with scents of holidays and reunion,
handfuls of home-cooked aromas embedded
in brick the fire never quite burned off.
Fiberglass threads hanging in the blank air
shimmer like my grandma’s hoop earrings,
melted and lost.
I remember where the refrigerator once stood,
every inch covered in blurry pictures
and my crayon-slick papers.
We always watched hummingbirds
slurp sugar-water from the feeder,
shooting long tongues like lily petals.
That window is empty now,
The glass tempered and broken on the ground.
The house is coming back from the dead,
heartbeat sparked and irregular.
The musty pheromones of fresh wood
and insulation swell in the air,
accents of sheet rock and nails close behind.
Memories baked into the foundation
like happy scars, churning scents of browned rolls and
chocolate turtles while the house inhales,
sipping in a new air.
~ Cody Shrum
Cody Shrum is a second-year graduate student at Pittsburg State University, studying Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction. Cody plans to pursue his MFA degree next fall—an adventure he will embark on with his wife, Kylee, and their two dogs, Zoey and Zeus.
Dan Bentley and Kat Greene: Guest Editors
Dan Bentley is a No-La/Kaw dwelling organic gardening seed saving bioregionalist who hails from western plains, writes, draws, paints, sings as spirit moves, laughs with wife, cats, friends, family, observing life cycle absurdity/profundity.
Kat Greene lived in eleven states and thirty-seven houses before settling in North Lawrence with her husband Dan Bentley in a beautiful garden. She still travels from time to time.