“Mr. Pither’s House” Poem by Jennifer Irvine

Image by Jenna Mann


Mr. Pither’s House

Poem by Jennifer Irvine

Wizened red cedar siding fades

into neighbourhood at the end of my laneway

as subtle as a home after a house-wrecking party.

I walk through decades of tiny moments with

my eye only on his basement window

trying to catch a glimpse of my reflection

from the waist down


Brown curtains his wife would have cleaned

(had she been alive) drawn like the flowerless garden below

on every window save for a slit exposing

a barley tweed lampshade tilted

towards his wheat plaid La-Z- Boy.


Blue flannel shirt bulks

the spindly frame of an old lumberman.

Outline of wire-framed glasses

peer over raddled face reading a book.

I assess my jeans in the makeshift mirror,

reflection borrowed from his basement window.

Not willing to return it like a good neighbour.