Poetry December 2005

Small House Torn Down to Build a Larger

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

Because it squatted on a piece of land
Whose cash price overtook and dwarfed its own,
Its owner couldn't stand to let it stand,
But sold it to be stripped to vein and bone.
A mottled bathroom sink where hair was brushed
Until its drain grew maddeningly slow,
The toilet tank so difficult to flush,
That closet floor on which the cat would go,
Are rubble now. Acerbic histories
That ended in divorce, the hopeful past,
Sprawl with extracted nails and toppled trees,
Too little in the living room to last.

X.J. Kennedy's most recent collection, The Lords of Misrule, won the 2004 Poets' Prize. A book of his new and selected poems will be published in 2007.
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