First House, a poem written by John Grey at

First House

First House

written by: John Grey


From a cramped loft
to a fixer-upper,
the journey was as momentous
as our upgrade from love to marriage.

The place had long been empty
but our third-hand furniture soon filled it.
I repainted peeling walls.
You took to webs and spiders
with your broom.

Much patching
was followed by more straightening
and then, of course,
came the heavy hitters,
the plumbers and electricians
who were our gods.

We covered the floors
with linoleum, carpet, and stain,
built bookshelves for my collection,
ditched our lumpy mattress
for one more suited to nirvana
and did the windows a power of good
with brand new curtains.

I have this memory
of standing in the back yard,
rake in hand,
looking up at you
in our bedroom
stuffing socks into a dresser drawer.

As visions of love go,
it’s indubitably prosaic.
So what’s it doing in a poem then?

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