Doctoring the House

Poem by J. Morris

           Chattering, they come for you in the gloom

            of dawn.  Tarps, chisels, coffee breath.

            Hello.  Hola.  You hide in your highest room,

            turn up the Franklin stove, turn up Aretha —

            warmth and soul.  Drums and horns to drown

            the clatter of violent expertise downstairs,

            soon.  They drape the couch and chairs.  They don

            their masks.  Diligent workers.  Urgent repairs.


            Someday a specialist will examine you,

            scare you, then submit his estimate.

            You’ll give permission, flee upstairs and cower.

            Below, respectful masked men will do

            damage for good.  You may remember it —

            the morning all went well? — at this late hour.