For the Unkept House
Fill the bucket with water.
Fill the coffin with stones.
There’s a full moon over the river
and there’s no going home.
Make a well in the water.
Make a house in the dark.
There’s a full moon over the meadow
and there’s no going back.
Sweep the stars from the window.
Sweep the dust from the door.
There’s a full moon over the kitchen
and there’s no going back anymore.
Break off the branches that withered.
Break off the flowers that grow.
There’s a full moon over the gatepost
and there’s no place to go.
Pick the stones from the meadow.
Pick the weeds from the grave.
There’s a full moon over the threshold
and there’s no time to leave.
(from Shale Gallery Press, 1994)
Vona Groarke has published five collections with the Gallery Press (and in the U.S., with Wake Forest University Press), most recently Spindrift, which was a PBS Recommendation. She teaches in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.