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.