The beauty of abandonment

The Beauty of Abandonment

Off a dirt road in West Virginia,
set far back in a weed-infested field,
an abandoned wood-slatted home stands,
kneels really, in the shadow of the
Blue Ridge Mountains. I imagine

it is free of worries that wore
the floors thin, free of the coming
and going that loosened nerves
and hinges, free of cries and laughter
now that only the voice of the wind
comes to roam its empty rooms.

A rooster might alight on the rusty
tin roof, but his cock-a-doodle-doo
alarms only the interloping field mice
asleep beneath a cast-iron stove
or the wintering bats suspended
from rafters by the hooks of their toes.

In spring, wisteria will climb
the grey, sagging boards, peek in
through broken-out windows,
like a cover-up to apologize
for the family that moved their lives
into a shiny trailer home closer to town.

I like to think the abandoned house
is happy, burden-free, collapsing into itself
like a body that has had enough of living
and is ready to let go, to relinquish
its heart to any weather, thankful
to be at home in nature.

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