Questions awaiting their answer linger in the air nearly forever.
The once aesthetic stroll through the woods went flat
with his wife’s final deployment to Iraq.
Now it’s merely a means to get to the mailbox out by the dirt
Each step was muffled by the soft crunch of pine needles on the dirt
Years of strolling the same place left the branched walkway open just
Pine and birch gently sachet a scent lingering in the Summer and Fall,
while the branches would clasp hands and form a pine tunnel in Winter.
Cutting wood all summer and fall was a partial relief to the need for
interest And by the end of November more wood could only help a neighbor.
He took the time to lay a flagstone walkway across the front yard.
Barely enough to avoid trailing in mud at wet times, the familiarity of
the steps kept him anchored to the idea that this was his home.
Faint creaks come from an exhausted hinge on the front door.
A swish from inside air brushed past his ears.
The dog curled up on his spot on an ancient braided carpet.
Once upon a time he cared that the dog was on a carpet braided by his
Now, the dog’s declared use was keeping it from going into the fire
A spider caresses his hammock at the ceiling.
Spiced smell of hickory and ash make the dust around the fireplace
just another part of the décor.
His walk hints of hesitation.
Somehow there is supposed to be a memory here, enabling a continued
involvement in life.
No matter how many times the path is walked, it never quite arrives.
Figurines hide in the shadows on the mantle.
A little church mouse ballets through the hand carved chess pieces.
He has an agreement not to knock anything over
in exchange passage rights from each end of the wood
above the fireplace
Long ago, it was worth the effort to turn up the lights
because it made someone else happy.
It was a time when a breeze through the room meant someone
In the end it only served as a reminder that inaction is a cruel thief.
For a while he wandered in guiltless entertainment.
A date every night til his clock struck midnight,
where returns to reality, his house and heart empty
He goes through the same strolling routine
from the door, through the ironically named living room
into the kitchen.
It is not dirty, not cluttered.
Life has been dusted out of the space.
It lingers nowhere.
This kitchen, with one dish, one cup, and one set of silverware.
The once ornately hand-carved woodwork now only reflect years of lost
This home, built one piece at a time towards chapters unwritten,
now awaits delivery to an unknown address
somewhere in the future
of things to be forgotten.
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A Walk In The Woods
Art by David
A Walk In The Woods
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