Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The House That Goes Dancing

Painting by Martin McKenna

The House that Goes Dancing

Not always but sometimes when I put on
some music
the house it goes dancing
down through the yard
to cha-cha the willows
or up into town
to tango the churches.
The neighbors, appalled,
they call the police.
The dogcatcher chases my dogs
up the street.
Toward the house that goes dancing
in raven black boots
or enormous bed slippers,
dragging one leg like
an earnest old hunchback
through the midsummer gardens
gathering garlands
to wrap round her roof,
she goes dancing,
love's house she goes dancing
her grief-stricken dance
for his unpacked suitcases,
his detritus, his hair,
his hairbrush, his glasses,
his letters, his toothbrush,
his closets of clothes where
I crouch like a thief
when the house it goes dancing,
a stowaway hiding in big woolen coats,
the scent of his body,
the smell of him rising.
We are shaken past the ending,
his passing,
Who waltz out of town,
All our mirrors well shattered,
our china, our crystal,
Our lightbulbs, our pictures have
crashed from the walls.
A magnificent mess!—
The doors off their hinges,
the windows wide open.
Let his spirit let go now
and his big broken heart,
neither sky nor horizon,
neither clay nor this dust.
It's as if he went racing his horse
past the house as we dance him goodbye
as far as we can, as we call out
goodbye with our hands
round our mouths,
shouting and dancing,
dancing and calling
to the edge of the world
through the fields.

Deborah Digges

Posted over on The Writer's Almanac

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