photo: ralph murre
by Jude Genereaux
The house stood dark through winter’s snow
her name on the mail box
bannered life within
but the house stayed dark
through cold and ice and springtime rain
daffodils announced renewal;
but the house stayed dark.
Come June, strange cars lined the drive
a great green steel bin appeared quiet
people walked to it, discarding
broken bits of the past
tossing old chairs, spindly legs askew
sticking straight up (a signal for rescue?)
tables unworthy of saving, relics and
furniture no longer wanted
into the bin
while the house stayed dark.
Crackling with heat in the pre-summer sun
smoke plumed from a barrel as
people (her family?) relentlessly
fed the flames; fire devoured
the stuff of a quiet life
Discarded papers, shopping lists?
books and old journals? (love letters?)
the air thick with the sweet incense of musty
words of love? lust and longing?
O! the hidden lives languishing in boxes
old desks and cupboards filled with words
crackling in the fires of Absolution
honeyed smoke fragranced by life;
Just … trash.
Your secrets are safe old woman
they have saved you
no one will ever know your life
Your honor and theirs
And the house stays dark.
~ previously published in There Is More Than One Door
(The Looner Press)