Cabin in the Woods

The way is clear through the pasture
…………down to my cabin in the woods
that has been closed since November.
…………On either side the pale geranium nods,
and a wild rose has decided to volunteer.

The field mice will have wintered over in style
…………in that last outpost of my family’s history
with the stained liquor carton, the splayed file,
…………the box of cremains that is empty,
the mahogany desk too big to fail.

They will have made nests from each medium,
…………nibbled off the carpet’s fringe
and shredded the padded pericardium
…………containing the gold pocket watch
that kept time long before my time.

Once I fed off this just as avidly,
…………ransacking it without conscience
in a theft the making seemed to justify,
…………grifting others’ lives for their evidence.
Now all I feel is the vulnerability.

With leaf-shade and summer deepening,
…………soon the place will be invisible from the road.
I dread the descent after so long,
…………the unclean scurry on the floorboard.
I dread the door opening.

Karl Kirchwey

Karl Kirchwey

Karl Kirchwey is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Stumbling Blocks: Roman Poems (2017). He teaches poetry in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Boston University, where he also serves as Associate Dean of Faculty for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Karl Kirchwey

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Author: Karl Kirchwey

Karl Kirchwey is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Stumbling Blocks: Roman Poems (2017). He teaches poetry in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Boston University, where he also serves as Associate Dean of Faculty for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences.