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Old House, New Home

Carrie Etter

Following by eye the dark beams 

as they rise and meet, rise and meet, 

learning these new rooms’ shades 

of natural and artificial light, 

I smell rain on stone, in the view 

of a sky of stone, storey upon storey 

of weavers’ apartments, long derelict.


Five years in a foreign country – 

the ghosts are not my ghosts. 

This morning I hummed a childhood tune, 

this afternoon I rummage for the words.


Tonight clouds will obscure the stars, 

forsake me in unnavigable water. 

What’s to do but drop anchor; wait 

and wake to the smell of rain, the view 

of a sky of stone; hum an old tune 

and wait, humming, for words –


From Magma No. 36 (Winter 2006)

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