Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Latest....

The House 

The house in dreams is always the same,

Though its rooms, like lungs, bulge and contract

And sometimes the rain

Bends ceilings and bursts through in cataracts,

Frightening as spitting your teeth down the drain.

Dad’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

The old trees, too, are still the same.

We rake and burn leaves in the driveway

And recall legendary Claire,

Who caught fire leaping on a dare, they say,

Whose ghost still turns on the faucet upstairs.

Mom’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

The stairway in the front hall is the same.

I find my mail stacked on the newel post,

Though I don’t live here.

Though I am still alive, I am a ghost

The others cannot touch or see or hear.

Dad’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

The ways we use each room are still the same,

But the television is black and white

And the kitchen is a mess.

We feel no urgency, no physical delight

In being where there is no light, no darkness.

Mom’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

The river runs through our backyard just the same.

Memories of trysts and laughter, beneath the willows,

Though vivid, never intrude.

The river is a dark chalice threatening to overflow,

Or frozen as stone, dead, supine, nude.

Dad’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

My bedroom and closet still seem the same.

While the window no longer looks out on the trains

On the trestle beneath the moon,

The closet door mirror no longer refrains

From showing me what has come only too soon.

Mom’s gone, and that house will never be the same.

 

The attic and the basement are both the same.

We hide in one or the other with our fear—

Of life, or of death—

The attic when all that we hold dear

Disappears; in the basement holding our breath.

They’re gone, and that house will never be the same.


                                                         Christopher Guerin 

 

1 comment:

Michael Antman said...

This is a superb poem.