This is the House sculpture by James Shipman


This Is the House

that James built. In the studio
he is just now raising his welding helmet
to check the bead on a fillet weld.
Satisfied, he flips the switch to "OFF,"
puts the gloves down then hang
the hood on the peg above the grinder.
This is the house
that James built. Within its walls
he has put away the cutting torch,
purged the hoses,
shut down the oxy-acetylene tanks
then takes the broom and begins to sweep up.
Before he heads upstairs for the night
in the house that he built,
James pats the kiln to feel it's cooling down
like you might touch a child
who survives a terrible fever.
The studio door closes
to a smaller and smaller sliver of light
till all is silent.

In his house, James
will climb the fourteen steps
to his apartment by twos: his dogs
greet him with happy tails and
the tic, tic, tic of claws
on polished hardwood.
This is the house that built James.
Say it is anchored in the bedrock
of imagination.
Say it is James' home.
Call it his Art.

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