This shrunken plantation is always
appearing on the bend in my road --
not in full regalia, but dressed
in the tattered robes of long, empty waiting.
We re-hung it with daffodil paint and
combed and curried the front yard, turning
it green again, briefly.
Curtains brightened its hooded eyes -- briefly.
Sounds of life stirred through it, but
not the untainted translucency of real home.
The spangled march of its puppet-life
became dissonant and fading.
Its arms hung down; it subsided again
into abject nescience and
But now, deep within its crumbled walls
and rich shadows, an invisible current
is moving. The tone is true:
Sunshine settles in, nestling into corners.
Forgotten fragrances move through the wind-chimes.
I hear the flowers growing again in long-
Little birds bring gifts of plants from distant places,
and the eyes are smiling a welcome out on to the street.
A poem (presumably) by Katrin Elise Schoonmaker, perhaps referring to our old (since-demolished) farmhouse in Sherborn, Massachusetts, and probably written in the 1970s. Thanks to Helen & Tom for sending it to me around 2004-09-01, along with a note saying "it was written on her old typewriter with thoughts of re-writing it later".
Katrin Elise Schoonmaker.
The Burley Family.
Last modified 2007-06-09.