The cabin sits on the precipice, right on the edge
of the quarry walls,
where blasting and machines of the trade
carve out encroaching walls of slate,
creeping ever closer to the foundations.
The cabin stands.
Not built particularly well in the beginning,
it has held up
to three generations of owners and mining,
an overseers cabin in the center of things,
no longer needed, left to be picturesque,
but not for much longer.
The glass is gone.
The slate step that once led you inside
has already fallen into the abyss.
It lies in the bottom of the mine pit,
waiting to be lifted into a truck and hauled away.
On one corner a few inches of foundation
It won’t be long now. The stone beneath
the cabin will be blasted and crumble
and the worn walls will fall. In a season
there will be no evidence it ever existed.
And so, you take pictures. You write words,
Memories of the forgotten, just as you write
of yourself, parts of you both abandoned
and blasted, still standing but fragile,
parts of yourself you want remembered
before they are gone.
About this poem.
The picture was taken this weekend, during a walk through a nearby quarry that was long abandoned, but has been reopened. The cabin, probably a foreman’s off from a time long ago, is not on the edge of where they are carving out slate. It won’t be there much longer, I suspect.
Yesterday at my second choice diner, I found myself having a conversation about being remembered after we are gone. I laughed at one point and said “I don’t think much of who I was is remembered now.” And that’s pretty normal in a life’s journey.
From those two things, this poem.
The cabin/poem tug at my tendency to preserve treasures that have long since served their intended purpose … but hold sentimental value. I gasped at the line about the slate step sliding off into abyss. But what really grabs me is your post-poem comment “I don’t think much of who I was is remembered now.” SO TRUE for just about everything living or static more than 10 years. I’d not thought about MYSELF from that angle. Thanks for the wake-up.
I too am a preserver of old things. I think it is an honorable thing to be and I am always glad when I find another person that way. And you know me, anytime I make someone think or feel, I feel successful. Thanks for making me feel successful today.