Morning in the Burned House
In the burned house I am eating breakfast.
You understand: there is no house, there is no breakfast,
yet here I am.
The spoon which was melted scrapes against
the bowl which was melted also.
No one else is around.
Where have they gone to, brother and sister,
mother and father? Off along the shore,
perhaps. Their clothes are still on the hangers,
their dishes piled beside the sink,
which is beside the woodstove
with its grate and sooty kettle,
every detail clear,
tin cup and rippled mirror.
The day is bright and songless,
the lake is blue, the forest watchful.
In the east a bank of cloud
rises up silently like dark bread.
I can see the swirls in the oilcloth,
I can see the flaws in the glass,
those flares where the sun hits them.
I can't see my own arms and legs
or know if this is a trap or blessing,
finding myself back here, where everything
in this house has long been over,
kettle and mirror, spoon and bowl,
including my own body,
including the body I had then,
including the body I have now
as I sit at this morning table, alone and happy,
bare child's feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
in my burning clothes, the thin green shorts
and grubby yellow T-shirt
holding my cindery, non-existent,
radiant flesh. Incandescent.
Margaret Atwood's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood )
- "Vae victis! ", Lento Maez
- the death of a little girl, Lizzy Hartwig
- Not Far Off: A New Beginning, M.J Donnchadh
- My Master, Aftab Alam
- There Are Two Worlds, Neela Nath
- Dirt Is Not Love, Neela Nath
- from 'The Double V', Morgan Michaels
- God Feeds the Birds, Dr John Celes
- Floating On, Neela Nath
- Perhaps I Did It Once, Shalom Freedman
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Heather Burns
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)