Our Half-Finished House
John Lane

More statement than investment, more Frank Lloyd Wright 
Than Martha Stewart, we dreamed it mostly 
glass and abstract comforts. No lawn, we left the lot lousy 
with underbrush and saplings most would cut and haul away. 
The driveway’s downslope turn hides our angular gray ghost--
a modern gesture emerging from that wooded space.

We invest in photosynthesis. Our return, pawpaws 
by the creek, the sweep of swamp oaks rising. 


Place: this slab of concrete, no foundation,
feature wall rising for no clear utility. 
Instead, our defining gesture, a very-real 
wood-framed forest filling every window. 


It’s on the hardwood hillside where the outside wall now 
stands that we found past evidence of occupation: small
fractured atlatal point. Around it lay scattered quartz chips, 
the refuse pit for Archaic Period labor. 
I picked it up, pocketed it, talisman securing 
our continued settlement.


A ruined river road forms our southern property line, 
risks flood when the Lawson’s Fork rises. 
walking down slope, I slipped off my shoes and waded 
the orphan current, glimpsed upstream

a flowing, a future, and the run-off moving through.

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