Edited and Introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Lewis Turco, who lives in Dresden Mills, is author of numerous poetry collections and The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, called “the poets’ Bible” since 1968. In today’s intriguing poem he offers the description of a house – or is it something more than a house?

The Habitation

By Lewis Turco
            There is no way out.
        Now the windows have begun
        to cloud over: cobwebs, dust.
    The stairs and floors are unstable –
the hours nibble the foundations.

            In the bedrooms, sheets
        have begun to yellow, spreads
        to fray. Coverlets have worn
    to the colors of late autumn,
thin as a draft sifting at the sill.

            On the kitchen floor
        crumbs and rinds lie recalling
        the old feasts. In the larder
    preserves rust among speckled jars;
the bins yawn; shadow sates the cupboards.

            The fire has been damped
        at the hearth: its bed of ash
        sinks in pit-holes over brick.
    The ceiling snows on the carpet –
Rejoice! Rejoice! The house is failing!