The house cannot stop thinking.
The piano in its brain plays
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
It thinks of the Jesuses it held
on its walls, one knocking on a door,
one gathering sheep and children,
one at the center of the long table.
It thinks of its doors, closed now,
of tables full and empty,
of ovens, of the animals cooked inside.
How it absorbed smells
of the dead, motions of living
mouths chewing. The breaths.
Shed skin. Blindness
of an old dog. Sharpsightedness
of nesting crows. Low moans
bodying up from dark pockets,
Hymnals like shingles falling off.
Linda Tomol Pennisi is the author of Seamless (Perugia, 2003) and Suddenly, Fruit (Carolina Wren, 2006), and a chapbook, Minuscule Boxes in the Bird’s Bright Throat, a portion of which appears in A Good Wall (Toadlily Press). Her poems appear in journals such as Calyx, The Cortland Review, and Saranac Review. She is Writer-in- Residence for the creative writing program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.