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Friday, August 28, 2009


(A DIY Guide for Young People)
by Janice D. Soderling

First you acquire a land lot

(in a good neighborhood, that’s the hard part).

Then you build a house on it.

Then you build a garage.

Then you build a neat white fence around the house
Then you plant a high hedge inside the fence
Then you add a porch to the house (at the front).

Then you lay a patio (at the back).

Stay healthy and 

take care not to lose your position of

gainful employment.

Then you build a playhouse for the children.

Then you build a tool shed.

Then you build a gazebo and two birdhouses.

Then you put up a birdbath.

Then you dig a fishpond.

(Some like to further enhance with two plastic storks on long red legs

or those cute little wooden windmills that rotate in the slightest breeze.)

All this time, of course, you will be filling

up the rooms of the house, garage, playhouse,

tool shed, gazebo, birdhouses with STUFF, all kinds of STUFF.

Stay healthy and

do not, repeat do not, lose your position of

gainful employment.

After twenty years,

replace all the indoor and outdoor

furniture, then glass-in the front porch,

repave the patio,

panel the basement, insulate the attic,

put up a weathervane, erect a flagpole.

Stay healthy and

do not, repeat do not, lose your position of

gainful employment.


Shortly before

or after


climb up on a ladder

and reach too far.

Fall off and break your neck.

Die with a minimum of fuss.

The system thanks you for your cooperation.

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to New Verse News. Her work appears at The Pedestal, Stirring, Soundzine, nthposition, Centrifugal Eye, ditch, Shakespeare's Monkey Revue.