An Imprecise Art
You have a weakness
for back roads and alleyways,
for the broken and shabby,
the gloriously tattered.
Old factories and stations.
Abandoned houses and barns,
fabulously flawed, places with history
and broken windows,
Victims more often of neglect,
benign and otherwise, places
worthy of use, but not care,
where paint is allowed to peel, and rot settles in.
It is always surprising to you,
how many of the abandoned are open,
almost in pride, to visitors like you.
Doors and gates yaw open. No signs
to hold you at bay
and prevent you from entering
the dark, debris scattered places.
It is all there to see.
Most walk by. No wonder.
These are defeated walls and windows.
Tales of abandonment, each with a story
worth listening to, worth discovering.
Passing by is hard for you.
You live for the stories.
There are lessons in them, and at times,
the secret to restoration.
They resonate with you
and your own tale of rebirth, of relearning
to be, the slow repair, each piece haltingly fitted
one to the other, a discovery
of what was saveable, and what was not,
what was worth saving, and what was not.
It is an imprecise art, much of it spent
walking through rubble.
And so you live your weakness.
You stop and wander the abandoned places,
remembering your own life,
seeing possibilities where there is rot,
knowing you cannot save them all,
content to save what small places you can,
your own home, the furniture of others,
staving off the death of things.
It is a temporary thing, your restorations,
an act of faith that you can keep them alive
just long enough that others will come,
with a weakness similar to yours.
About this poem.
This was not the poem I started to write. The poem I started to write was an angry one. But it somehow turned from what others can do to what I might be able to do. Healthier, I think.
Be well. Travel wisely,