Image of shelter


The New Plan

How calmly the architect measured
my life as I live now, unspooling
his yellow metal tape across my kitchen

and den, wall to wall, molding to molding,
recording sills and clearances
and the thickness of the plaster,

drawing up the rooms
and their doors and windows
in a notebook with a black cover.

Then on tracing paper laid over
the plan, he sketched out
possibilities: a new door there,

less clutter here, and beside
that chase that can't be moved
a kitchen table at which two people

could face each other -- over
breakfast, let's say -- as though
drawing the second seat

would bring someone to fill it.
Such a confident scheme. But he
took the notebook when he left,

and the tracing paper curled
back into a tube -- my imaginary life,
translucent, rolling up in itself.

June, 2001

Poems page | The Biemiller Ice and Coal Co.