10-19 This Old House

This Old House


Glance through your attic windows

to distant steps three stories below.


Realize your residence

is a furnace of passion and pain—

condemned to sagging eaves,

arthritic joists, buckling loins

and clogging pipes


no matter how much you shingle

or scrape and paint the facade.


The attic will drift with dust

and vents will cease their breath.

The bulldozer’s blade

will push your rubble into a pit.


Again, gaze to the steps below:

You are only a tenant

leasing this old house of squeaking

soles and shriveling ducts


and then, your dwelling

with its leaky roof and drafty jams

will never matter as it once did.


Open the gable window,

crouch on the sill.


At windpuff, dive and bob

on currents of light.