Flooding the House
Roll up the sunshine and clean wood floors—
boom out the low notes in baritone hymns
for my loved house without windows or doors.
Fashion a rowboat with soup spoons for oars.
Hack holes in the roof, let the rain pour in
then roll up the sunshine and clean wood floors.
Imagine old Noah with no view of shore.
Dispatch Gulliver and the Brothers Grimm
to my strange house without windows or doors.
Empty the cupboards, the tall chest of drawers.
Cull bookshelves of rendezvous, wild and prim.
Roll up the sunshine and clean wood floors.
Then turn on the hoses and let them pour:
bring buckets of catfish to root and swim
in my drowned house without windows or doors.
Let teacups cascade on the stream’s corridor,
the bedroom’s pond now swampy and dim.
The sun rides the rapids over wood floors
in my blurred house without windows or doors.
—Karen Kovacik (Marion County)
This poem originally appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review. Karen Kovacik is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Metropolis Burning and Beyond the Velvet Curtain. Her work has received numerous honors, including the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. She has received a fellowship in literary translation from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Fulbright Research Grant to Poland. Professor of English at IUPUI, she directs the creative writing program. In January 2012, she became Indiana’s Poet Laureate.