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oldhouse

 

Hollow shell, it bends upon the hill, once grand

with porticoes, painted eaves & sycamores

littering October yard with head-sized leaves.

 

When laughter sang beneath its gabled roof

& tall black walnut limbs threw spotted

neon balls across the verdant lawn.

 

Sun-baked brown, its gutters dry, then frozen through

three rotting years, sad shingles drop like weary tears

upon the winter-marbled ground.

 

Spring brings weeds and ivy leaves

that climb its neck to clutch and pull

at its foundation tired, so tired

 

it might give up and in and rest its bitter beams

and boards upon the ground, surrender all

in one sad slide and slump.

 

It stands through summer heat and sleepy bees

and children singing past to cool

their hot pink feet in slippery creeks.

 

Come fall, its wood is rotting wet

and bank men called post stickers wide

like duct tape gags across a shut-up mouth,

 

and board up frames like gouged out eyes

where mold creeps in to eat the walls

and cupboard doors and copper pipes

 

that carried warmth like blood within its veins

and chimneys where the sweet smoke curled

up mantles decked in faded flowers

 

and ukuleles crack and tumble cruel

round three small possums’ final sleep.

 

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