Empty Echoes ~ with audio


Empty Echoes

In the winter wind, a massive pine
brushes the clapboard of this house
that has not seen paint in fifty years.
Weathered and fading to gray,
it is neglected and long past
any rustic charm. Snow is cupped
in the upturned edges of the siding.
Shutters hang at an angle beside
windows that once glowed
with warmth, but now stand dull
and lifeless. There is no bustle,
no activity, just banging shutters.

You say you hear laughter
from this house? That’s nothing
more than echoes from the past.
Perhaps you also smell roast turkey
and spiced apple, or hear dishes
clattering. Broken pieces on the floor
are all that remain of those. This home
has not seen a festive dinner in years.
And that’s no wisp of smoke
from the chimney, just snow blowing
from the roof of an empty house.
But you knew that when you saw
those lifeless windows.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Outside Looking In, the prompt from Laura at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to imagine a house with no family connections, no memories of our own to call upon.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Lazy Afternoon

Lazy Afternoon

thumb out
gas can in hand
lucky to reach
while heading out for
lawnmower refill
car passes
kayak on its roof

driving down the road
hitchhiker in my rear-view
turn off for the river access
back down the ramp
a fisherman on shore
enters my rear-view

cast my line into the water
careful not to hit
a passing kayak
reel the line in
find my hook empty
bait the hook, then another cast
nearly lose my rod
with a sudden hit
start reeling it in
an outboard churns by upriver

watch a fisherman smile
holding a bass up in the air
continue upstream for a mile
cut the motor
the bow eases into the water
put my feet up
drift with the current
a kayak passes
making its way to the ramp

lift my kayak
from the water to my car
tie it down
leave the ramp
head down the road
pass a motorist refueling
from a gas can

put the half-full can in my trunk
turn my car around
head back home
pull my lawnmower from the shed
refuel it and put it back
getting too dark to mow
it’s been a lazy afternoon