“A House upon the Height–”

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder Click to read more...

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder’s work appears or is forthcoming in such journals as Tampa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, and 32 Poems. She is the recipient of a 2010 AWP Intro Journals Award in poetry and was named a Ruth Lilly finalist in 2011. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Mississippi and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California.

A House upon the Height recording

—Emily Dickinson

The fence that runs the road hems the house in,
thigh-high grass and clover tight, pushing back
through the wire slats.  The farmer’s wife
next door says teenagers used to trespass

and do who knows what they do.  Call next time,
she warns, so I know who you are.  Great-granddaughter
of a man who grew up here, I haven’t needed a place
to press my lips to other desperate lips in years.

Years, it looks, since kids have bothered trying—
the floorboards rotted out, windowpanes gone,
the siding like a salt-eaten wreck.  The whole house,
sunk in its center, tugged under, the porch’s edges

curling in June.  And still I want to trace my fingers
through the dust of these closed and failing rooms.

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