Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nor Am I Who I Was Then

Susan Elizabeth Howe (1997)

Far north in the county
On a clay shelf
Overlooking the valley, the house
Where I was raised holds up
The house you see and
In this way survives
Vagaries of ownership,
History, and reinterpretation.

Once modest, lower middle class,
Still it was one of a kind,
Its freshness
Green-speckled bricks
Set in maroon mortar and
Maroon-stained posts and beams
Supporting roof and flat-topped carport.

The effect was like silver-
Green pines in red dirt,
Or exotic red-leafed lettuce
They serve in fancy restaurants.
But the roof of tar
Spattered with gravel, roof
Where I myself have walked,
Is dangerous now, pitched steeper,
TV antenna gone, and covered
By standard thirty-year shingles,
Regular and buff as brick
That has grown below
Into sprawling rooms and garages
Enclosing whole lawns
Of my imagination.

3 comments:

dan1968 said...

from Stone Spirits

ethan said...

i like "enclosing whole lawns of my imagination"

laura said...

I like poems like this one and "Make Big Money at Home! Write Poems in Spare Time!" where the poem doesn't tell me straight out what the title means, and the title acts as a further commentary on the poem, adding an extra layer of meaning.