Two blocks from my brownstone 
the imitation Tara crumbles, divided 
by divorce. Shattered windows gape west. 
A potted palm thrives strangely in one corner.  

Once, the builders took pride making this 
"The prettiest site north of Charleston!" 
Its columns gleamed; senators grinned 
before stately panes. Now, all is split 

unequal. A woman adjusts her scarf 
in the red-doored basement; 
a man ponders loneliness 
in what should have been an attic. 

Across the road pigeons swoop 
over winos and leave dung trails 
on the statue of a general. 
His horse rises, ready to defend 

two people who no longer care 
about honor or paying the bills. 
They dwell in a mute house, 
peeling and irreparable. 

Copyright 2000, Brandy Bauer 

Brandy Bauer received her MFAin 1999 from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She currently works as an editor in Washington, DC.