A Second House – a poem by Don Brandis

      A Second House
 
Fall’s apple crop 
from a diseased tree in the front yard
grounded, munched noiselessly by deer
who easily leap our picket fence 
as though it were an invitation
Moles in the pasture unseen
push up mounds of dirt
in their busyness, building felt pathways
for their blind lives
Winter rains near doubled leave flooded fields
for ducks and snow geese to visit
on their seasonal flights to somewhere south
of instinct, our name for our ignorance
 
If hunger were entitlement 
we’d not be living this tarted-up world-ache
preferring fantasy to ordinary life
insuring perpetual discontent
 
The house we build in thought
always adding on, outgrowing us
falls away to footloose truth
becoming a second house
a flat-land hut, really
a single room, no door, all windows
An earth observatory the whole world
comes to visit with room-sized songs and stories
 
A second house waits patiently
within our discontent
marking timelessness
before (excusing incongruity)
during and after, in -lessness
for notice it does not depend on 
 
Falling away are tundra, arctic ice
coral reefs, hammerhead shark, 
giant sequoia, Monarch butterfly,
their newly fluid forms merging 
their stories come to us
in hearing already heard
out of time, before and since
we thought ourselves entitled

Don Brandis is a retired healthcare worker living quietly near Seattle.  His poems have been published in Leaping Clear, Free State Review, Neologism Poetry Review, Poetry Quarterly and elsewhere.

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