The House of Two Weathers, or The Years after the Layoff


The mailman brought a Florida postcard
or a thin white envelope the weight of an anvil.

The potted African violet in the kitchen window
raised its richest purple or drooped.

The mother bustled over the stove
or at the sink stood, staring out.

The tabby lazed on the couch
or crouched under a bed.

Almost cloudless blue or
hailstones the size of golf balls.

Cursing, he pored over the bills,
or he cycled into the prairie.

In laughter or in silence the girls
husked cobs of corn over the bin.

The lasagna tasted of love,
or it tasted of ash.

The moon the moon the moon.

Carrie Etter is a part of the creative writing faculty at the University of Bristol. Her fifth poetry collection, Grief’s Alphabet, is forthcoming in April.

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