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. Linden Lane

The house


by C. Dale Young

Et c'est à vous que je pense, ô Maison!
Maison des beaux étés obscurs de mon enfance.

—O.V. de L. Milosz

The house is no longer the house,
its windows shadowed by the city's grime,
its walls weakened by the salted complaints
of the seaside. Even a sand dune's walls
are lost beneath the rippling shag of sea grass.

The house is becoming inconsequential.
It is now portable, carried in the heart like an ache,
a murmur in the chest, the almost imperceptible
sound one hears, on occasion, in a shell.
The house fills our dreams with windows

and vistas, drapes caught by a finger of wind
and pulled into something like drama,
doors creaking, the wind racing down
hallways in search of something, anything,
the flickering of a soul at rest.

I have begun to hear the ocean crooning our names
in over a hundred different languages.
Tireless old master, it understands the house
has become passé, something all too ordinary.
The ocean longs to teach us the architecture of loss.


C. Dale Young '91 published his first collection of poetry, The Day Underneath the Day, in 2001. His next book, The Second Person, is due out in spring 2005.


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