The House

by Erin McGrath

Two stories, limestone, gray shutters,
next to the park.

“We almost bought that house,” my father always said
each time we drove by.

He doesn't go down that street anymore.

What could have been taunts him from the sidewalks —
two little girls and a bucket of chalk,
the sound of charcoal
spilling into the belly of a grill,

the phantom mother
pinning clothes onto a line
and smiling
into the sunlight.