Cracked Ice

Julie Sheehan

 
When I return, I'll come in clapboard, stained
chestnut, with lead-based paint on radiators,
old-fashioned, and a little bit insane
but sturdy to a fault. A spalting grain
on punky myrtle and no refrigerator
when I return. I'll come in clapboard, stained
shake shingles skittering on skewed roof planes
that snarl the corner lot like unpaid panders,
old-fashioned and a little bitten, saying,
"Leave our sightlines sharp. Let dormers train
What angles water sheds." They congregate for
when I return. I'll come in clapboard, stained
with varnished truth: you ran me down. You caned
old rockers with prefab splints, hack renovator
refashioning me bit by bit, insane
to strip as spilth fine bulrush. I'll maintain
myself, then. There will be no mediators
when I return. I'll come in clapboard. Stained,
old-fashioned, I'll come a little bit insane.
 
From Bar Book: Poems and Otherwise. Copyright © 2010 by Julie Sheehan. Used with permission of W. W. Norton & Company.