William Christenberry, Abandoned House, 1983
Artwork courtesy of William Christenberry
Dust lives here now.
And spiders. Dust and spiders.
And mice. Dust and spiders and mice.
And memories. Dust and spiders
And mice and memories.
Memories of a man with a hammer,
And some boards, and some nails,
And the energy of youthful dreams>
Memories of stumbling a little as
He carried her over the threshold,
And the baby cries that filled up
All the corners, and the dog that
Followed one of the kids home.
The smell of morning coffee,
The whisper of voices in the dark,
Homework at the kitchen table,
Monopoly in front of the fireplace,
Tiny scratches in the hardwood
Floor from when he dragged in
The Christmas trees, year after year,
Stringing the lights that
Glittered in the eyes of
The soft sigh of his final breath,
As she cradled him in her arms.
The hollow thud of the door,
Closing for the final time.
Then dust. Spiders. Mice.