Issue Twenty-Five - Winter 2015

Homeowner Georgic

By William Aarnes

The idea seems to be
to go into debt

for a house and yard
you’ll keep, if not productive,

neat and comfortable out of respect
for yourself and your neighbors,

for the friends you’ll ask over,
for the family who visit,

out of homage to the rooms
you’ll have renovated

and the porch you plan to add,
to the oaks and maples

you hope will outlive you,
to the potted annuals that won’t,

out of annoyance with the ivy
that won’t stop growing,

with the ants returning in July
to the kitchen, with the squirrels

digging up the just-planted herbs,
out of worry about droughts,

about soil-washing downpours,
out of something like reverence

for the sparrows and finches
that keep emptying the feeder,

for the garden that some summer
will match the one your parents planted,

out of allegiance to the idea
you’re indebted to.

Copyright 2015 Aarnes