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(Photo by Janice Weber)


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 like it once did.
Open the gable window,
crouch on the sill.
At wind puff, dive and bob
on currents of light.

By Peter C. Venable