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Among Ruins

Among Ruins

What is there to make of the house and porch

Crumbling into ruins, of bindweed grown

Up through slats of rotted timber, chipped and

Dismantled by the long harvest of families

Who could never stay here? The curtains rent,

Bed iron overturned in the cross-hairs

Of paneless windows and the still screen door

Remarkably intact and just parted

For us to see the knob missing, the door shut

We guess for years. These are the signs we think

Of some country we know to be passing.

Old hearsay and spirit talk gone into

The near silence of the place. Still we stop

To look a little and to wonder some

At the lean of abandonment, at those

Birds who have stopped with us, gracing now the

Slopes of spring trees. What would it mean to go

Forward, to cross this barbed wire strung here?

The wind tap of a tin sign left on the line

Just where we stand, where others used to be.