A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I love to break into abandoned houses
in spite of the cover-your-ass no trespassing signs.
Exhale of wind moves a rag of lace curtain.
Fleur de lis wallpaper from when they had wallpaper,
peeled to show the rose pattern beneath.
Child growth pencil marks on the kitchen doorframe
and after six-foot-three, no more.
Staircase too fragile to climb so I imagine upstairs,
the baby room, the master bedroom
with fireplace, the second bedroom with window
looking out over a fallow cornfield
and collapsing barn filled with rusting equipment,
a tedder, tractor parts. A dead snowmobile
disappearing in vines. Big corporates own this farm now,
have no interest in this house. Someone lived here.
Fix it up for God’s sake. The porch rails outside
and the swing-seat fallen from one of its hooks.
The careful gingerbread above the porch and the way
the late sun brightens the fading white paint with gold.
Across the field, an obscenity of an apartment complex
spreads its deadly sameness across the horizon.
I’m going to sit here until I know the reason why.
Copyright 2021 Doug Anderson