Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday Poem - Scenic Route

(For Lucy, who called them "ghost houses.")

Someone was always leaving
and never coming back.
The wooden houses wait like old wives
along this road; they are everywhere,
abandoned, leaning, turning gray.

Someone always traded
the lonely beauty
of hemlock and stony lakeshore
for survival, packed up his life
and drove off to the city.
In the yards the apple trees
keep hanging on, but the fruit
grows smaller year by year.

When we come this way again
the trees will have gone wild,
the houses collapsed, not even worth
the human act of breaking in.
Fields will have taken over.

What we will recognize
is the wind, the same fierce wind,
which has no history.

Lisel Mueller
(From Alive Together)


Barbara Rogers said...

Ah, the passage of time on empty homes. It does beg for poetry. I also like seeing photos of whatever remains, and considering how the house began...looking at the structure, the methods used to put up these walls, ceilings, stairs to wherever. I once walked through an abandoned house across the street from me, with friends too. It had a quirky kind of stair, with a turn at the top. It had gorgeous floors under the dust. And a few years later someone bought it and rennovated it...and moved in with children! What a difference!

Mystic Meandering said...

I just have to say this poem touched me as I often feel like an old house - not yet abandoned by the inhabitant :) Leaning and turning grey indeed...Exhausted after all these years :) Now creaking and falling apart. And I grieve the loss... Not quite ready to pack up my life and move out... But I don't think I have much control over that :) Such is life...