Today's poem is by Greg Williamson

The Birdhouse

During that cold snap, frost
Had silenced the whole affair.
I went out for some air,
Hoping to get lost.

The sleet came down like rice,
Where flagstone plunged into briar.
Threaded on one barbed wire,
An exquisite necklace of ice

Adamantly glared.
Above me, canting, doomed,
A high old manor loomed,
Its ratline trellis snared

In snarls of creeper vine.
Run like a nylon hose,
The screen door slumped to a close.
(If ever one needed a sign . . . .)

But, here, on a tetherball pole
Someone had stuck a scale
Model, in minute detail,
Of the house on its keeling shoal:

Clapboards band-sawed from a shutter;
The chimney's zigzag crack;
One window, eye-patch black,
Bandaged in plastic; its gutter

Split from a copper pipe
Tarnished but rustproof
Under the mansard roof,
Just like the prototype.

The weathervane's bird, in tin,
Faced due north, mute, frostbitten.
In paint-pen someone had written,

But who, what Duncan Phyfe,
The house crumbling above
Him, would build this mock-up of
The ruins of his life-

Just someone with a sense
Of humor—and let it stand
For whatever transients land
Whatever eons hence?

Copyright © 2002 Greg Williamson All rights reserved
from Smartish Pace
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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