1972 Barracks Lane, Before and After

1. Rare Offering

Exceptional squalor!  Right up to soaring
ceilings.  No cove. No lake. No view.
But odor!  Odor! Stale cheap cigar smoke.
Dollar store cranberry candle wax.
Gun oil. The lived-in grime of plywood
flooring. 2.5 buckets of ashes. 1 bath
with maxi toilet (7 gal. ~ 1 week
of waterless shit). 1 bedroom, 1 loft
unfinished. Partially furnished.
Includes couch. Includes fleas.
Ideal house for declining wino.
Smells just like home already.

2. Possessive Case

Rainbow’s End’s in rehabilitation.
Monet Cove’s under restoration.
The water snake returns. This property –
now peopled with geese and gosling
below little blue heron wings.
Mayapples and herb-Roberts’ blooms
in May, jewelweed jewels August.
But caveat emptor, poison ivy
may occur anytime. The residual
stink of Ontario’s rotting fish,
of a poet’s brother’s death warns:
Beauty’s thing is still being recreated.

Karla Linn Merrifield

Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 600 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has twelve books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada (FootHills). Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com.

Copyright 2017, Karla Linn Merrifield


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