Hurricane devastation

Gloria Visits The Fry House

Never firm the old Victorian,
perched on locust poles, poised
on beach's brink, begins to lean.
(Oddly the rusted chandeliers
are what appear to lean as they decline
to join the general lean to sea.)
With a great complaining of nails
rooms parallelogram, right angles
by the hundreds choose acute, obtuse.

The living room goes first: two picture windows
burst as the picture they were placed to contemplate
comes in the room. The main floor caves.
The upright red piano rolls
out the window, out to sea,
slowly righting to metacenter.
In the slow motion of demolition
walls fold down upon themselves
expressing volume room by room.
Dressers come up hard on seaward walls,
the bedrooms yield beds,
the third floor launches a pool table.
Like stalks the house's piping snaps.
water lines plume, gas lines effuse.

Eased by a wave, then waves,
the pile gets underway. But rubble it is not.
Shedding cedar shakes like scales,
in the exploding surf it is reborn.

The Fry house joins the company
of things that put to sea.

John Barr / from The Hundred Fathom Curve

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