Marjorie Power: “House Not for Sale”

An old man sits

where he always sits,

where his dog can hear footsteps

at their earliest approach

outside the black-painted front door.


While driving, a man

enjoying his prime

fills with a longtime yearning

for a country home.

Pussy willow branches line the road.


The old man dines early, tray in his lap.

Memories move around

like guests. Through a window,

breeze-blown daffodils

and just-cut grass.


The yearning man pulls off,

turns his car around, drives slowly

past forsythia blooms. He’s

seen some kind of omen.

Made a decision.


The old man’s old dog woofs and trots

toward a sound

his master doesn’t hear.

Both, of course, are devoted

to this daily mystery.


The car owner climbs three steps and knocks

on faded black chipping paint.

He has a plan.

He’ll find the words.

He stands firm, hears shuffling feet.


A door opens

on a musty smell,

also a scowl with a gun.

The homeowner was not

expecting a city-clad stranger.


When my father died, my mother revealed

how he silver-tongued his

purchase of our house.

(I never once heard my father

speak of guns.)



Marjorie Power’s newest full length collection is Sufficient Emptiness, Deerbrook Editions, 2021. A chapbook, Refuses to Suffocate, appeared from Blue Lyra Press in 2019. Epoch, Barrow Street, Mudfish, The Atlanta Review and Southern Poetry Review have taken her poems recently. She lives in Rochester, New York after many years in various western states and can be found at .