Photograph by Obuh Christopher Nelson

My father’s voice was there—
this shall be the front

and that the back—
rising as the masons read the plan.

I’d guessed it right. Even at eleven
I could guess what a building plan meant

the same way I knew when standing
that my right was east and my forehead north.

In the would-be living room, I buried a bone.
Brian had said it would bring good luck.

Later the masons would dig it out
and fill the place with concrete.

But how should I have known that the bone
should have been from a pig

to properly keep evil away when
Brian had said just a bone would do?