chimney relining
leads to new shingles
and then, in the conversion from fuel oil to natural gas
the plumbers report the boiler’s cracked
and inconveniently vanish

this was hardly his plan or vision
this raid on his winter cache
meaning the steam radiators won’t be replaced
by a quieter, more efficient system
and the family must make do
with the dilapidated kitchen and laundry

still, the barn (a carriage house, actually
a term they found pretentious)
could be saved from collapse
and so the backside is jacked up a half-foot
lifting, it seems, more from sky than from root-softened clay
and ripping away makeshift drywall and insulation
where nobody was supposed to have lived, per city code
(ache, all the same, ache) and wonder what kind
of domestic animals had gnawed away at posts
where skeletons and bottles are dug free

he soon learns which repairs
and even dreams
are put off
perhaps even forever

and which come to pass
over the years

Poem from my Home Maintenance collection
copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson


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