Fixing the Roof

Fixing the Roof

Making hay, fixing the roof:

a house for putting in order.


It was ever thus, this making do,

coal skuttle and bucket to hand

as leaden skies darkened

and resolutions were left

to find their own way home

in a paper trail that

we never quite mapped.

Had soldiering off been

on the cards that were

dealt us back then, back when

a shuffle meant a shuffle,

not a random spin

in the juke box of life,

or a slow dance towards its end,

the skies that loomed closer,

like the voices that grew louder,

would have slipped their way in

under cover of night.


Had the time we had aplenty

when running on empty

been visited on us, without

plan or discrimination -

a mobster's kiss,

a parcel bomb,

the blackest of holes

(time comes in many guises) -

had this been our fate,

eaves would have slumped,

shrugged off more slate;

and interiors lain bare

would scope the scale

of this folly: this architectural

preening and strutting of self;

and buckled bone window frames

that hold, no more,

the spectre of visitation.


Had time, unannounced, come to call,

would we not have kept building,

like boardwalks through the mire,

these evanescent spaces,

where not-old and not-new

unfurl and commingle

(there's texture in detail,

it's here homes are made);

would we not have

tended these plots or

redrawn the sacred line

that thresholds this world

and those that lie beyond;

a door, a scrum of coats and shoes,

a mirror (to check we haven't already left):

a geography of the limen,

it's here too

that homes are made.


Making hay, fixing the roof:

a house for putting in order.




August 2012