V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





Even the lawn is cramped with hydrangeas,
white heirloom lilies, wild creeper roses
running the length of the porch, all of it
sloped on a grade from the yard to the road.

The perspective is childhood or old age,
poor, but not poor enough to discern it.
Nor is the house large enough to waste room.
Perhaps company will come soon, unannounced—

but no one will sit in the sitting room.
That's for Hummel figurines, for small frames
unpolished for months, tarnished as flatware,
for old plates, photos, plastic-covered chairs.

That's for the passing of the spirit world
through the spirit of the house.  Everyone
would rather stand in the kitchen where fruit
pies crisp on the sill, swing on the side porch,

or sit smoking or sewing or talking,
or take coffee in a cane chair upstairs.
There's a functional humility in
everything but that room, where nobody stays.

Soon enough we will go to our places
down the road, where the creek cuts through the graves.
The whole family waits there, passing toward home,
worm and mole, creeper and clod, humus, loam.

© by David Baker


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