03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On My Ceiling Falling On Me, By Emily Dickinson

A partial ceiling collapse at the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst has damaged some historical artifacts and forced a temporary closure of the museum. Executive Director Jane Wald says plaster from a ceiling in the parlor area fell on Sunday, damaging a teapot, sofa and set of chairs. . . . She said the plaster that fell was not original to the house.
--Associated Press, October 27, 2009

Because I had a drop ceiling,
It kindly dropped on me.
The plaster fell on just myself
And guests I had for tea.

The falling dome rained down on us,
Halting our discussions.
My visitors were knocked about,
Suffering concussions.

They choked on clouds of grit and dust
And very quickly fled,
Each one surprised my canopy
Had fallen on her head.

Alone, I contemplate a sight
I ne'er beheld before--
When I sit in my parlor now,
I see my second floor.

I can't afford a handyman--
I guess it's up to me.
May feathered hope uphold my patch
Through all eternity!