Red House Talking*



heat scared twisted tin

metal remains of the shelter of generations

once marking the boundary between security,  sky

and seasons' harsh torments of ice and wind

once shielding mother and child and keeping

home hearth’s warmth within


sentinel timbers stand charred

remnants of hard taught lessons

essential knowing of words and deed

those shadows of learning that walk with us stand undaunted

proclaiming our way through life's course

holding us to right of way

pane-less windows black and lost

tell of now absent eyes peering outward

watching for familiar faces and tracing memories

in winter’s vapor smudged glass and speaking again

of curtains drawn tightly muffling 

the magic giggles of life long love and randy youth



the boundaries of roof and wall

yield openly, freeing lives long bound here 

as prolific gaps grasp not even nature's transient breeze

but only to have it dance delightfully


resting on mind, heart and dream

then leave wafting on



(written following a visit to Levering Orchard, Va.