We built the house, like we planted the trees.

On dry land, on old land that to us was new.

Bricks and buckets, and so much mud

And water in puddles on the stone. We made

A sandpit in that corner later, and put the bamboo

Up by the wall. And layer by layer, it grew.


The house is deep-red in the overgrowth and light

And the bottlebrush tree winds along the windows

Into the other floor. The garage is now the living room,

Bigger but darker. And the Gulmahor went

In the sweltering rain, though the trunks still lie,

Scattered on the grass that suddenly grew too.

Around us, many more houses appeared,

And the street closed in, as our neighbours did.

Scooters and mopeds, and one white van

Parked right outside our gate. The cows came too,

In lonely herds and we catapulted them away.

Angry at the intrusion, and wary of more change.

But we built the house, and all the trees

We lay claim to as our own, on ground that's solid

And will not shift, unless we tear them down.