Poem: The Opportunity of Abandonment


The Opportunity of Abandonment

It has been a decade since they boarded the factory,
nailing fresh plywood over the windows,
locking the doors, emptying the space
of all things valuable, leaving
dust and space and a town bereft of hope.

The two small hotels in town have burned down.
The small store at the edge has closed.
The houses still stand with their slate roofs and peeling paint,
full now with transients and renters that come and go each year
as the town comes undone in slow motion.

In time, the plywood turns grey, molds, rots.
The nails that fasten it rust.
The factory, so carefully battened down,
opens again to wildlife and explorers.

This is how you have lived,
abandoned and left to nature and time,
a shell, and yet a shell that can not stay closed,
an adventure for those who dare squeeze in
the narrow openings that falling apart
always allows.

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