Reluctant Poem

pipe leaking

I looked through the bushes behind the house

and saw some crumbling of the foundation.

It’s never good to have your foundation crumbling.

Furthermore this seemed to be the entry point

for our co-habiting mice.


The contractor started digging.

A pipe we didn’t know about was spewing water

and undermining the foundation .

They were fixed yesterday

(both the pipe and the foundation).


As I tell a friend about this in an email,

I realize the possibilities of this image,

since I feel the same way about my body –

the pipes I never paid attention to, or knew about, need repairing,

as do all the systems that are breaking down.


Decades ago I would have drafted a poem

immediately, using the specific incident

(the endangered foundation) to suggest something broader

(the body I live in) and of general interest

(the bodies we all live in).


Useful metaphors aren’t dropped in our laps

every day, after all. Today, though,

I don’t care to write a poem.

Oh, maybe I will anyway.

Maybe I just did.


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