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By Jennifer Judge

At one point you realize you are building a house.

This knowledge comes at you like a car accident. Like a suddenly gleaned mistake.

You are almost forty and you never intended to do this.

Your husband is almost fifty and he never intended to do this.

Yet here you both are in the basement, spending nights together again (so many houses, so many basements, why not start here, we always start here) to build the main beam that will hold all of the floors strong, that will hold up your lives once and for all in the way you want them held up.

You have bought and sold, bought and sold. In fact, much of your adult life (though you scarcely notice you are an adult and then here it is, almost forty), you have thought about homes, struggled through homes, defined yourself by homes. And you arrive at your Goldilocks house (the first one too small, the second one too big, and this one just right) with the idea to renovate. Eight weeks in and you look around at bare studs, holes in the floor, places where windows used to be, empty room after empty room, and realize this is something more. You are not renovating. You are building this house again.



About the Author

Jennifer Judge  is a poet and personal essayist whose work has appeared in Literary Mama, Blueline, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and RHINO, among others. She teaches creative writing and composition at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and is the organizer of the Luzerne County Poetry in Transit program. She earned her MFA from Goddard College and lives in Dallas, PA with her husband and two daughters.