Good Bones

They call it settling
the reason this aging
plaster suffers cracks:
fine webs of them throughout the house,
a few deep enough to cause concern.

We exercise maintenance:
replace a rotting joist,
caulk the gaps,
ream the pipes and flush the tank,

but the to-do list is never done:
the back door is drafty,
electrical shorts leave us in the dark,
and the plumbing suffers a constant drip.

Good bones, they say,
keep the walls standing
solid around me,
until age and gravity
exact their toll

and I no longer recognize
this house in which I dwell.

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