E
Apr/May 2006 Poetry

The Dwelling

by Robert James Berry


The Dwelling

Three generations stay in
my house. The air crackles
with memories,

the forgiven and what cannot be
bobs like a cork
in seething silence.

Time has been misremembered
by skirting boards, shins of the house
        kicked in

webbed cornices,
so imaginative blotches
may mean something or not.

A rotten dentistry of beams
hold the roof,

doors mean arthritis, window
casements arenít all there,
shouldermarks of the dead

        shine.

Itís a chemistry.
The timber creaked and split
generations before
has healed now,

where I am lashed to a desk
pitted by adventure,
overgrown with scrawl,
coffee rings, and history.

Creation
on which my elbows dream
makes my bitten, inky fingers move.

 

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