Insomnia in an Old House  

high trees over me, blue spruce and pine,
leaning over the roof, moving in wind
cars in the street rattle the windows
their lights ghost the curtains

mice in the walls, behind warped baseboards
creak of stair

                      I can’t sleep because of the house

its dreams behind lace curtains its attic’s mumbling
rememberings its illnesses arthritis in its floors

its vague complaints its tremors of love
or anger       I can’t sleep

where so many have slept
leaving their dreams in the bed
the wind has erased the past from every window
but the porch awaits another’s step
                 listening for his accents
the whole house leans into the night


Janet McCann is a Texas crone poet who has been teaching creative writing and other vices at Texas A&M for almost 45 years. Her most recent collection: Carlos' Cafe, Sacramento Poetry Center, 2012l

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