‘House falls off a cliff in Argentina as the sea reclaims the land.’
            —The Guardian, July 29, 2021
They stood by the house at the edge of the sea
and waited,
having emptied drawers, carried away
family pictures, photo albums,
an acrylic painting by a local artist
of a placid bay from another time,
its smooth surface scratched
here or there by the prows of boats,
their clean white sails propped up
like party hats.

The sea had eaten slowly,
each wave gnawing
miniscule bites,
undermining the foundation
on which a family had grown,
counting themselves lucky
for the view. A large house
of many rooms, its robust frame
cracking beneath a façade
of normalcy.

The neighbor, having trained his lens,
set floodlights to the sound
of waves thrashing as night fell.
Perhaps a mother
crying silently out of frame
in the short video seen around the world.
A house collapses
like a wedding cake
into the sea.





Alfred Fournier
Picture Nick Victor

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