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House For Sale                                                                           

           Suffer these ruins of what never was. 

                                                                      ----Richard Howard

 

This house once served its hosts

like guests,

giving its best room, its two good chairs

cheerfully.

The walls gave back a rich response

from the cedar growing once

and held in the warmth, held up the roof.

Aloof

in its wooden trim,

this house breathed in

the gulf's salt-air for years.

It listened to each bird-complaint in the eaves.

Now behind each window-dark face,

this house waits like a body waits,

wanting

to be claimed.  Oh, I feel old,

held

here in these childless rooms.

How well each post slips into its beam,

the floors broomstung, the tongue

obedient in its groove.

Outside, the night grows

grey.

A young scrub oak

knocks

against the clapboard like a hand.

Adam and Eve in Florida

 

The evening blinks with lightning bugs and rain.

The fennel softens on its stem

and crowns of cabbage palm and hickory

obscure the milky moon. Humidity,

like glue, confines us to our chairs. We sweat

and rock. The heat: a language that the whippoorwill

repeats, repeats. The garden smells of mold,

and air plants look like demons in the oaks.

The wicker gives and takes and creaks while frogs

ignite their throats tonguing jeweled insects

off the tusks of fronds, and isolated

lamps of houses burn behind their curtained

rooms. In this momentary equipoise,

in air too still to stir, we watch the poison

glisten in the snakes.

Ann Wood- Fuller is a Lebanese-American poet. She studied at the University of Florida earning degrees in English Literature and did her post graduate work in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines and peered journals including The Yalobusha Review and The Florida Review as well as the premier issue of Ancient City Anthology, a book of writings about Florida. Recently at the Southern Writers/Southern Writing conference at Oxford, Mississippi, she was invited to read her work and received an award for outstanding technical merit for her poem, "The Last Resort." Ann lives in a home she built on 7 isolated acres in the old Florida woods.