Retirement Home

 I’m going to build a solid house,
 Good bones to frame it straight and true
 Upon which fasten seasoned boards
 The outside elements to subdue.
  
 It shan’t be graced with gingerbread
 that merely mildews in the rain,
 or gargoyles leering overhead 
 evincing darkness and disdain.
  
 A simple plan as fits my taste,
 I aim to please no one but me.
 One needn’t look for blemishes.
 I’ll know they’re there; I’ll let them be. 
  
 My house will stand the tests of time
 Clean lines that age but loathe to stray,
 With understated grace and strength
 to see me through my final days. 

Today’s dVerse poetry prompt, as posed by sarahsouthwest: “I’d like you to look back over the last year and choose a poem that calls to you, and write a response to that.”

I chose a poem by Elizabeth Crawford Yates, a local poet who published in the 1950s. Her poem, “To a Time-Grayed House,” struck me in that she ascribes the aging process with “dread and wistfulness.” As I celebrate my 60th year on this planet, I don’t dread growing old nor do I pine for those long-lost days of youth. I do want to age gracefully though, and maintain my health as best I can. And so, the poem above was my response to this:

 TO A TIME-GRAYED HOUSE
  
 Though you may stare with dread and wistfulness
 At youthful cottage and its sleek white dress,
 Remember this. Too soon, that one may be
 A peeling thing, with shaken masonry. 
  
 Elizabeth Crawford Yates
 from her book Wind Carvings (copyright 1953) 

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in Photography, poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Retirement Home

  1. I loved the whole thing, but I think the second stanza was my favorite:

    It shan’t be graced with gingerbread
    that merely mildews in the rain,
    or gargoyles leering overhead
    evincing darkness and disdain.

    Lovely!

    -David

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, can I just stand back and admire your title? I’ve been thinking a lot about titles recently, and I love this one – humorous and warm, and working on different levels.

    I like the way you’ve taken that short quatrain and riffed on it. I love the extended metaphor, and I love the feeling of the person behind it, someone content in their own skin. I think this was my favourite:
    One needn’t look for blemishes.
    I’ll know they’re there; I’ll let them be.
    May we all have the grace and wisdom to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. robtkistner says:

    This was an excellent piece and an engaging read Maggie — well written. Happy & Healthy New Year to you and yours. Here’s to writing wonderful poetry in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sanaarizvi says:

    My goodness this is absolutely stellar writing! Especially love; “A simple plan as fits my taste, I aim to please no one but me. One needn’t look for blemishes. I’ll know they’re there; I’ll let them be.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ingrid says:

    I think this is a wonderful poem and a fitting response to the poem which inspired it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. M Jay Dixit says:

    So evocative and beautiful. The flow is fabulous too!

    Liked by 1 person

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