Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The House that Goes Dancing by Deborah Digges

Not always but sometimes when I put on some music
the house it goes dancing down through the yard
to cha-cha the willows or up into town
to tango the churches.
The neighbors, appalled, they call the police.
The dogcatcher chases my dogs up the street.
Toward the house that goes dancing in raven black boots
or enormous bed slippers,
dragging one leg like an earnest old hunchback
through the midsummer gardens gathering garlands
to wrap round her roof, she goes dancing,
love's house she goes dancing her grief-stricken dance
for his unpacked suitcases, his detritus, his hair, his hairbrush,
his glasses, his letters, his toothbrush,
his closets of clothes where I crouch like a thief
when the house it goes dancing,
a stowaway hiding in big woolen coats,
the scent of his body, the smell of him rising.
We are shaken past the ending, his passing,
Who waltz out of town,
All our mirrors well shattered, our china, our crystal,
Our lightbulbs, our pictures have crashed from the walls.
A magnificent mess!—The doors off their hinges,
the windows wide open.
Let his spirit let go now and his big broken heart,
neither sky nor horizon, neither clay nor this dust.
It's as if he went racing his horse
past the house as we dance him goodbye
as far as we can, as we call out goodbye with our hands
round our mouths, shouting and dancing,
dancing and calling to the edge of the world
through the fields.

"The House that Goes Dancing" by Deborah Digges, from The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

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