The House

The house stood enraptured in its porches.
It stood a distance from the road,
A good distance,
Un-occluded but by a single oak.
It stood a distance from the barn,
A good distance,
A quick walk from the barn.

It cared not about the weather
Or its peeling skin.
It cared not whether the aromas
From its kitchen were of pheasant
Or of corn bread.
It only cared that its floor boards,
Sometimes sprung, still
Clattered to hide and seek feet,
And for the single oak
And the distance from the road
And the quick walk from the barn.

It stood while encroached by neighbors
Occluding the sight of the fields.
But it only cared about the feet,
And the oak,
And the distance from the road,
And the quick walk from the barn.

It stood through thunder and noise
And the smell of commotion.
But it only cared about the feet
And the oak
And the distance
And the quick walk.

It stood as the barn decayed
And the road came closer.
But it only cared about the feet,
And the oak,
And…
And the quick…


Mary awoke from her dream.
But had it been a dream?
It had been real, hadn’t it?

It had been real white walled windowed space
and porcelain counter top
And real sizzle and smell.

It had been real wood warmth
And quilted sleep
And awakening cold.

Mary got up to go to work.
She had to go to work.
Why?
Because she had to go to work.
To do what?
She couldn’t remember.
Maybe to build.
Build what?
Maybe something better.

Mary couldn’t remember her dream.

The house moaned as it expired
Too far for Mary to hear.
It could not remember her feet.

Robert Warren Cornell – 1998

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