Sunday, October 12, 2014

My House (poem)

There is no lake, no wading birds,
No alligator waiting just beneath the calm
for my old cat to heave his body to the porch.

It’s just a singlewide from the seventies,
painted white under the Florida scorch
surrounded by weedy grass and neighbors’ palms.

The splendor of it all resides inside the box
like a diamond hidden in a crust of year-old bread.
And so it’s always been -- my life -- an inside job.

Excuse me. I just thought of Mrs….oh, I almost
had her name. That teacher in eleventh grade
who said I could do anything I wanted in the world.

She wasn’t right, but ah! Sustained me through
so many nights of utter failure’s heavy weight.
One person’s words can build a house to live in.

No longer do I have the ice machine, dishwasher,
nor the skylights of the penthouse suite. No longer
do I wait for poverty to hurricane away my life.

I sit upon a golden chair atop an oriental carpet,
live orchestras play softly behind the heavy drape
You do not see, you never have, nor can you hear

The sounds that are such precious home for me.
The wind is gentle on my aged face. The cup
of tea is the right temperature, finally.

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