In the House that Stands Before Me

on May 29, 2013 in Poetry

In the house that stands before me
Nine windows have gone dark and aged to quiet sleeping.

They had steadily winked as sentries for longer than could ever have been rightly asked, to preside over the cracking paint and crumbling foundation to which time condemns the things we label home.

The warmth is now departing
It’s seeping through the panes
like the last exhausted breath of dying that is pushing me away

How far can that wind take me?
With only my pockets left for sails
To that so near strip of gravel
That separates the familiar and the foreign?
Not hardly so far as that.

The light no longer scapes the dark
Nine windows hint no flame
It’s the gravity of the collapse that holds it there and pulls me back again

With the home fires slowly burning out
before me and behind me not but blackness all about
where I’m going
what I’m leaving
rain, and fire, and doubt

but there’s yet on lighted window
in that dying house’s face
a flicker from a small room
abandoned while its marking time
that unforgiving empty space

If I turn my back upon it
the candle will cease to shout
then there will be no looking in
through the light not looking out

and at once I turned myself from it
on my shoulders felt no heat
the light behind subsided
ten windows now asleep.

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