“Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?” Elizabeth Bishop
When I look at Real Estate in The New York Times,
I am charmed, absorbed by how small the spaces are
how much they cost, how light, how airy, how clever.
And oh! The things the owners say sometimes:
“It’s a modest little apartment but it’s so well done,”
(Barbara Barrie said) “It has brought me joy every day.”
But the odds for joy on the Upper West Side of Manhattan
are better than even, I’d guess. I really couldn’t say.
I am obsessed with other people’s homes.
I drive by houses and picture myself there.
Would I like it? Are the people inside happier
or sadder? Do they want to stay or go?
I think I could be happy anywhere.
I could be happy anywhere but here.
I suppose it’s possible that last line is true, but more likely it’s the poet in me having that line occur to me and going NICE TWIST. In any case, my house in small-town Wisco is pretty sweet sometimes: