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a persistent mildew of misery
settles in the skeleton
of the suburban semi-detached,
malignancy lingers like an unquiet spirit.
the echoes of endless arguments
reverberate within its walls
and all its experiences are tarnished
by a sediment of discontent,
the sour lees of sorrow.

all at the mercy of the man’s moods,
wound tight as the springs
of the stainless steel chest expander,
its teal blue handles shaped for fingers,
that he works with a vengeance
in the bedroom each morning,
gearing up with gritted teeth
to unleash the fury of the day.

Photo of Spenby chest expander from ebay.