The living room becomes the mudroom
as the world around cozies up
to autumn. Pray, is Appalachia prettiest
covered in the dead and dying?
They are pretty on the still green grass
like blood sheen on a boxer’s cheek.
They are a motley mock-up for snowfall
slippery on the pocked dirt driveway.
The can’t-go-can’t-own man tracks them
into his crumbling efficiency home.
The difference between freshly swept tile
and mess is one trip to the old curb.
Less effective choices taste like bathroom
potpourri—so, y’know, yummy! soaked
with steamed milk and syrup. Mudrooms
become every room in one-rooms.
Try and keep it clean. Try and smile at it.
Sweep it again. Sleep in it again. Be
the liveliest grinner seen by the spiders
moving up for the season. Live in
the room where prettiest death dies
a second, damp, drab time.

Poet’s Notes:

For another grimy apartment poem, try A Revelation in New England. Reactions are welcome in the comments section below.

The featured image is a recent satellite view of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is cropped from a much larger image processed by Lauren Dauphin for NASA Earth Observatory.