The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Jean Nordhaus

The House

I never notice the façade.
All these visits happen at night.
Always the same house, mysterious
and unpredictable, shabby and rich.

I love the interior, so much larger than it looks
crammed with books, with teacups and hangings,
baskets, figurines, ancient pottery,
chessboards and puzzles,

with window seats, side pantries,
unexplained corridors, a maze
of possibility, a labyrinth
it’s easy to get lost in.

Who lives here, I wonder? Artists probably,
and intellectuals, eccentric scientists
who lead a more intentional life than I.
How many others have wandered these chambers

wrapped like me in their own desires?
House of dream, house of mystery
with its mountains and yeasty cellars,
its topsy-turvy stairways and, invariably,

an extra room I didn’t know was there.
Always, I wake enriched, just as
the house dissolves. Then the soul
climbs back into its body and goes to work.

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