Between The Back Porch and Main Street
Years pass like rogue taxidermists,
change the mundane into artifacts,
guts the novelty of newness
from every timber in a house
and stuffs them back up with dust,
’til grime pours out of every vein
and spills out on the floorboards
which have buckled under years and rain.
Paint chips have weathered into wrinkles.
The breeze sculpts creases and crinkles
in the curtains where the moths have
managed to build their nests .
Funny how a house
stays a home,
even after all the people have abandoned her,
even after no one calls her home.
Thank the honey locust
who could no longer hold the treehouse,
Who puts a treehouse up a honey locust?
Sunk a cavern into the pantry,
chased out all the people,
allowing in the birds and sunbeams and snowstorms
and a family of raccoons who moved into the parlor.
They’ve been paying rent for years now,
gathered a varmints-fortune in rusted bolts,
nuts, scraps of twinkling treasures,
and tucked them safely in the bathroom sink .
When the rain comes, the tub plugged with
dirt and cicada corpses creeps full,
stirs up a film of algae and earth
painting a cloudy tapestry on the surface.
Hydrangeas used to grow in the kitchen window
where now there are only dandelions.
**The point of this particular assignment was to write a poem that showed how beauty changes. I grew up in a community that is shrinking year after year and what stays are the abandoned houses. Nearly 2/3 of the houses in town are unoccupied by my rough count. When I was younger, I didn’t have much to do but explore the emptiness of my town but I learned to see the beauty in nature slowly taking over what had once been so civilized.
We also had to include a picture with the assignment. I chose to use an old photo of a house I particularly liked because I knew it lived in and abandoned. It was also the only thing I could really see in the mornings waiting for the bus, in between my porch and main street.