Monday, September 15, 2008

Poem: How Firm a Foundation

How Firm a Foundation

The paint is peeling, exposing the Vermont hardwood
gray with weather, pocked with rot.
The walls inside are gone,
ripped out in despair, even
in the back of the house,
the floors have been torn away,
the huge ancient beams raw and worn.

Once, you can tell, marble stairs
graced the oddly Victorian entry,
but nothing remains of the porch,
save the fushia paint, a contrast
to the colonial simplicity
of the massive old house.
Windows are shattered throughout.
It is the picture of brokeness, except

for the stone foundation,
each rock defiantly perfect,
one on the other, solid
as the beginning of time,

reminding you that this place is no ruin,
but something more,
a starting place,
like your life, and
that beam by beam,
board by board,
it can rise again,
not as something preserved,
but resurrected.


The picture is of an empty house in Manchester, VT. It really is as gutted as the poem describes, yet if I could buy any house in the country, I think I would want this one. It sings to me as few places ever have. You can click on the picture for a larger view.


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