someone lives here


she is a small woman, says the touch of her hand
on these scattered flowerpots by the backyard gate;
diminuitive too, says the strength of her bones
on this man-sized shovel; and a strong, goddess woman,
says the moon with a bright milk face
on the wall beside the window, silver with light;
but not a woman for burial, say the trees,
unencumbered with leaves and the solid wood.

children lived with her, says the orchard hill
littered with blossoms and the bushel baskets
loaded with ripe fruit, and they have a home,
says the bird’s nest made from daylily stems.
love is plentiful, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed the same way her grandma did.
and the winters warm, say the quilts folded on the bed frames.
there was family here, says the grooves worn into the road.

some things are meant to be, says the house
in the sunlit yard. honeysuckle on the fence
says she is a mother; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she plans to stay awhile.
and the children? their toys are strewn in the yard
like wildflowers after a storm–a fairy house,
a board-and-rope swing in the maple tree,
a tiny wooden horse. some things are meant to be.


(in the mirror -– abandoned farmhouse by ted kooser)



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