He dips toast into the center of a dropped egg.
She hears the yolk on her plate say, Don’t eat me.
After breakfast they ferret out a large
cardboard box that becomes a home within a home,
a house without a mortgage, or leaky faucets,
a place to move into and out of, like tomorrow.
He uncovers a string of white lights, tapes it to the paper
ceiling, “Where’s an outlet, Grammy?” “Found it!”
He caches books, slithers himself inside.
The only voice is the rain playing hard on the roof.
She clips a reading lamp to the skylight on her end,
thinks to add a flowery scarf. Presto! The transformation
from empty to occupied is complete.
The children work in pajamas, unaware of each other or me.
Their dad off to a conference, their mom at work.
I drink tea while they scissor, fold, pencil, paper, paste.
This house with its temporary walls contains everything
real and true – all that glitters and glows in their abode,
everything that matters between breakfast and lunch.
Judith O’Connell Hoyer’s 2017 chapbook, Bits and Pieces Set Aside, was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award by the publisher of Finishing Line Press. Her poetry collection, Imagine That, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press in March 2023. Judith’s poems can be found in publications that include The Atlanta Review, CALYX, Cider Press Review, Southwest Review, and The Moth Magazine (Ireland) among others. She and her husband split their time between Massachusetts and Rhode Island.