Design for a House

by John Field

Design for a House
          after a poem by Jonathan Holden

Sometimes a dream that grips us
we become.

In the house I’m designing

my wife, kids, cats, dogs, and I
will be the studs that hold up the rafters.

I’ll build a front door

shaped like an unequivocal invitation
to come in! Come in!
Erect walls of glass
that will put our eyes outside
watching suncheckered flowers
practice their holiday colors
stupendously
while squirrels with nuts in their heads
for snacks
scamper about on the freshcut grass.
And invent a new kind of skylight
that will aircondition the rooms
on hot afternoons
by inviting the shadows of clouds
to roost on the roof.
But if it gets too cool or too dark

I’ll snap my fingers

and shoo the entire flock away.
Yes, yes call me a dreamer if you will
made glad by the smell of a damp dog
lying fast asleep on the kitchen floor,
and sad when my grandfather

clock’s metal heart

stops beating in its wooden chest.