Terminal Skeletons

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The folks that lived there,
are no longer around
to discourage rock throwers
from shattering the dignity of windows.
Naked doorways, like portals,
take artifact hunters into spaces
kept alive by faceless memories.

Four wall vestige with epitaph;
written on old cans,
colored glass bottles,
shoes bound by mildew,
baked, and bound,
year, after year;
A man’s old tan work boot
laces gone, worn with holes;
A woman’s ornate loafer
with antique brass buckle
you might take for your own;
Preserved baby shoes next to
boys boots; All scattered
among clothes, drapes, blankets;
books with pages stuck;
A petrified roll of wall paper

One can only guess why abandoned houses
are left standing for so many years;
leaving all memories behind
to the slow dripping wear of seasons;
bricks, beams, shingles; crack, dissolve;
nails rusting, soon break, causing walls
to lean… roofs to cave.

Stacks of newsprint blending with earth;
Readable footprint of a world past;
“Tucamari Daily News October 14th 1942”;
“Defenders Take Street; Nazis
Thrown Back; Dig In For Winter Fighting”,
“Son Rescued from Fire by Mother
Wanders Back into House and Dies”,
A Buz Sawyer comic strip
with faint hints of colored inks,
or a flyer, revealing epidemic maternal fears;
“How to Prevent Baby From Getting Polio”

When stepping outside
to rusted poles 20ft apart,
I begin imagining;
A woman hanging laundry on
taught clothes lines;
Sounds of children playing in a clearing;
Or, see a man carry logs inside
to burn In a pot belly stove,

But last look, renders a somber trail
of valued lives; forgotten shack,
abandoned, with wind whistling
eerie through crevasses, and open ways;
terminus pipe organ, playing,
on a high desert near North West Texas border
all surrounded by repeating crooked fence posts,
dark brown barbed wire loose and lazy;
hurdled by countless legs, over five decades.

2 responses

  1. Hey, Reno. Found your blog on EDP. I’ve never left a comment on a blog..so, I hope you get this. I love the poem and the pics are awesome..making the poem come even more alive. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I think you can understand the attraction that archaeology has for some of us. That often-unrecognized human desire to connect to the past takes a tangible form when we can touch objects that those who came before us once used and lived with.

    Love the poem.

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