Rain penetrates. You wouldn’t think
a solid shell would fail its past.
Back when they built a house to last,
the generations, link by link,
seasoned the walls with soot and steel.
The rats have come. Thick as a brick,
the door performed its only trick.
Now there is nothing left to feel,
no ambience but topless stairs.
The leaves pile up. Sir Morris Grouse,
beneath a stuffed and fraying mouse,
forgets the lineage he shares
with Puddleman and Bundderlice.
Mildew has come. Port circulates,
sinister towards the broken plates—
blood pudding, kidneys, sheepshead twice
baked. There once was a chandelier.
The rooftree sings. A missing pane,
inscribed in diamond, brags in vain,
The Men Who May inhabit here.