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by Gail Hamilton
Early morning walk down quiet country road
Time to plan, to ponder, exercise aside
Each day brings subtle changes to the landscape
Watching seasons slide together and collide
Neighbor houses far apart, occupants unknown.
The lives within, a curious mystery not shown
One old house looked frumpy friendly
Nestled as it was
‘Neath protective pine and oak.
Did not hear the siren if it sounded in the night
To signal the distress.
When next I walked along that way
Smoke hung in the air.
The house gazed bleakly out through empty eyes
It’s roof half gone and charred.
Blackened bones stood naked under skies
Then as days went by –
Slowly – board by shingle,
window by door,
Brick by stone
A silent shadow of a chimney left keeping sentinel
Foundation then swept clean by winter wind.
Somewhere, someone remembers
That once its’ walls stood tall
That once its’ roof protected life within