Thursday, September 8, 2016

Penelope House by Sarah Russell

They're razing a co-op down the street –
not a quick implosion reducing it to dust,
but the slow pecking of crows on a carcass,
the wrecking ball taking time, taking aim,
admiring each swing.
For a hundred years, steadfast Penelope
wove new tenants' whims, unraveled for the next,
But Odysseus is a no-show,
and her suitors tired of the game –
the clanking pipes and sometime heat.
Now Penelope is ravaged, her fragment rooms exposed –
garish yellows, mud-stained blues,
a scrap or two of curtain catching in the wind
like remnants of a peignoir.
I pull my coat close as I pass.
Implosion would be nice, I think,
but I know the wrecking ball's
begun its arc.

Sarah Russell has returned to poetry after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, Black Poppy Review and New Verse News, among others. Follow her work at