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5 June 2016

“Haul”: a poem by John McCullough

In Minnesota, they reeled a sixty ton house / over ice: a caught fish.

By John McCullough

In Minnesota, they reeled a sixty ton house
over ice: a caught fish. The tow truck eased

forward, a steel cable stretched and quivered.
Walls crept. Why it sets me thinking of you

I can’t fathom. Who’d rescue your building –
split gutters, bleedings from oxidized pipes?

Still, I picture it skating, its porch nosing
the air. The house where you swallowed

your diagnosis. Where you phoned from, drunk.
It plunges through ice to the lake’s silty floor. 

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Brown water discovers its rooms.
Algae furs chairs and bedposts,

traces circles on ceilings – the loft crowded
with minnows, a wandering bass.

John McCullough’s The Frost Fairs (Salt, 2011) won the Polari First Book Prize. His second collection, Spacecraft, is newly published by Penned in the Margins.

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This article appears in the 01 Jun 2016 issue of the New Statesman, How men got left behind