Hollow shell, it bends upon the hill, once grand
with porticoes, painted eaves & sycamores
littering October yard with head-sized leaves.
When laughter sang beneath its gabled roof
& tall black walnut limbs threw spotted
neon balls across the verdant lawn.
Sun-baked brown, its gutters dry, then frozen through
three rotting years, sad shingles drop like weary tears
upon the winter-marbled ground.
Spring brings weeds and ivy leaves
that climb its neck to clutch and pull
at its foundation tired, so tired
it might give up and in and rest its bitter beams
and boards upon the ground, surrender all
in one sad slide and slump.
It stands through summer heat and sleepy bees
and children singing past to cool
their hot pink feet in slippery creeks.
Come fall, its wood is rotting wet
and bank men called post stickers wide
like duct tape gags across a shut-up mouth,
and board up frames like gouged out eyes
where mold creeps in to eat the walls
and cupboard doors and copper pipes
that carried warmth like blood within its veins
and chimneys where the sweet smoke curled
up mantles decked in faded flowers
and ukuleles crack and tumble cruel
round three small possums’ final sleep.