Visitors look down on the house’s rippled roof.
It juts, rusty, and collapsing over a kind of veranda,
poorly furnished with slat chairs sturdier than itself,
and slat windows stripped of paint, cheer, and dignity.
But in its defence,
The visitors’ roofs are newer: Tiles, perhaps, or
glass, like what roofs Paris’ Grand Palais, and
which justly inherits heaven in its full array;
But however less a palace, in this house God is praised:
At times in thought, at times in prayer, at times in song . . .
And always in the hearts of those who quietly keep within it,
welcoming the shelter as graciously as an angel’s embrace.
By the faith of these needy, it forbids light and rain.
And by a greater one, it secrets the frets that beset them,
Frets that wither the hardiest and toss him hard, to and fro.
The few feet of boards laid in rows, make a plain picture.
The visitors say: It’s nothing to write Natgeo about.
Nonetheless, it stands free, and speaks the truth.
It is a sketch of a sweet and humble home:
a space dry and warm when retired to; and
a space where, tall or short, up or down,
full fat, or skin and bones,
Someone is well content.
Someone is at home.