On Visiting My Grandfather’s House The house that Jake built Has vinyl siding now And a kitschy country welcome mat With a smiling Jersey cow. The house that Jake built Still has its beveled glass, Its polished hardwood floors, Its doorknobs made of brass. But the house that Jake built Is mortgaged now by a single Mom Whose daughter taps her phone While she plans her senior prom. Their life inside Jake’s house Needs no Cistercian shrine, Nor formal Sunday dinners Where the kids must learn to mind. Jake’s German roar is silent. His razor strop is gone. Crabgrass Jake would not abide Has conquered half his lawn. The house that Jake built Has lost its steep back stairs, But the lone surviving cherry tree Still bears fruit most years.
Paul Telles’s poems have appeared in several online and print publications, including Rat’s Ass Review, BoomerLitMag, and cc&d.