The Flower Building



Every morning,

My walk to school

Brings me past

The Flower Building.


Every morning,

It looks the same.

Red brick,

Peeling white paint

On the windows,

A few planter boxes,

Sun-faded curtains,

And a huge flower painting

That takes up

The whole south wall.




Watering my plants

On the balcony,

I spot

The orange signs.


As soon as I finish with the

Baby avocado,

I’m rushing down

Four flights of stairs




Fling open the big main lobby door.


White writing

Black scribbles

Green paper

Nailed everywhere.

Notice of Demolition.




Instead of 

Cookies or muffins

On the counter,

Mom’s computer

Sits open. 


A house takes up

The whole page.

In the corner

Is the logo of a realtor

(I look it up,

To make sure)



We can’t move!

Mom takes my backpack

Hands me yesterday’s cookies

And shuts her laptop.

Don’t worry about it,



Mr. Richards



The journal entries

Of my students,

I learn

That the Flower Building

Is being demolished.


I can still picture

My blue bed,

The little purple cabinets,


My father’s



I can feel

My heart dropping.

I tried to forget

About my childhood,

And now everyone else

Is helping with that.





Is twitchy

All day.

He finally admits

His apartment

Is being demolished,

His mom

Is thinking

This is a good excuse

To move back

To California.


What am I

Supposed to do

With no best friend?


Dr. Nakayama


When I leave,

I will only be leaving my flower.

My patients

Are rude,

My friends

Are unattached,

And I talk

To no one else.


When I leave,

My flower will be leaving,


It will crumble on the outside,

And I will crumble

On the inside.

Because I will miss the flower

Who’s painter

Will never be known.




Cardboard everywhere

Makes a jungle gym

Out of our living room.


Tea parties are held,

Dolls are put to bed,

And late-night truck races raced,

All on our jungle gym.


Auntie M visits

To make mom food.

Auntie G visits

To help build my jungle gym.

Auntie R visits

To make sure Kitty is safe.

Auntie B visits

And tells me

That we’re going to live with her

For now.


I hope she has a jungle gym.


Mrs. Linny


Over Sunday’s paper,

I watch moving trucks arrive,

Get packed,

And leave again.


Over Monday’s crossword,

I watch tears be shed

And cars drive off.


Over Friday’s coffee,

I watch the demolishers drive up

And I watch

The flower building crumble.


Over Saturday’s television,

I watch streams of people

Crowd and cry

And leave their own flowers.


Over the ruins of the flower building,

I cry.

Posted in response to the challenge Building.



12 years old

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