A Wrecking Ball For Marianne Moore
years and stones of her life to attend
to what she’s constructing. Carefully building a house for it,
making sure there are plenty of spacious windows
so neighbors can see what she intends
them. When this is achieved, her message
will present itself in shimmering splendor. Things don’t always
go as planned: Subjective monuments will not stand
for everyone. Her house is subject
pillagers who tear walls with their hands
when they can; not satisfied until they have cut through each layer
of mortar and plaster; broken every window.
Surveying the destruction in their
helmets, they scrutinize and select
which walls to destroy; calmly pass the clamor of breaking glass
and drywall; search for the meaning she hid in the
house somewhere. Someone ends the riot
finds what they came to rend: a string of
her words on a piece of white paper. He grabs the scrap and holds
it up so everyone can see and learn. Then he
nails the paper to a stack of boards.
They gather round her precious words as night begins to fall;
That house was more hospitable than words nailed to a wall.