Doctoring the House by J. Morris

Chattering, they come for you in the gloom
of dawn. Tarps, chisels, coffee breath.
Hello. Hola. You hide in your highest room,
turn up the Franklin stove, turn up Aretha –
warmth and soul. Drums and horns to drown
the clatter of violent expertise downstairs,
soon. They drape the couch and chairs. They don
their masks. Diligent workers. Urgent repairs.
Someday a specialist will examine you,
scare you, then submit his estimate.
You’ll give permission, flee upstairs and cower.
Below, respectful masked men will do
damage for good. You may remember it –
the morning all went well? – at this late hour.

Originally appeared in American Arts Quarterly and the chapbook The Musician, Approaching Sleep.

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