“On Desperate Days”

Listen to Barry Spacks read this poem.

I’d putter in the attic above
neat rooms with books and beds, gleam
of cared-for sink and tub, stairway
down to the place with the lovely name,
the living room, and farther down
the dreaded basement roots of that house,
spider-thread and furnace-throb,
dust in the dingy corners, pipes,
oh desperate days returning the way
wipers sweep wild rain from a windshield
and new rain comes … days when I prayed
somehow my hungers might leach away
as I formed junk-sculptures, gluing a coil
of abandoned vacuum-cleaner hose
to a fractured mirror, married to woe
while seeds of changes ticked at my heart
original joy the next house over!