Poem: The Empty Halls of Poplar Forest

The Empty Halls of Poplar Forest

It is a museum. It feels like home.
Empty walls.
An odd chair here and there against plaster walls.
WIndows with bubbled hand blown glass
let in dappled light.

It is designed to show the space,
Uncluttered and simple, untenanted.
Off the beaten path. Few. Very few visitors
and the few who arrive pass through quickly.
There is little for them to see.

For most, that vacantness is uncomfortable,
a visual silence among strangers.
People hurry through. Ohh and Ahh a bit
before fleeing to a more comfortable,
more cluttered space.

While you stand. Sit a while
on one of the Windsor chairs,
happy with the congenial silence.
Familiar, it is. Safe.
It is a museum. It feels like home.

About this poem

Poplar Forest is the less famous of Thomas Jefferson’s homes, and one of my favorite places. His too, evidently. A simpler, smaller place than his more public home, Montecello. It is just outside Lynchburg, Virginia,

The picture was taken there.

Tom

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