Poem: No One There

No One There

I seem to find them, more than most,
the ruins.
The fallen. The broken.
A simple walk in the woods,
through abandoned fields,
the side of a road, often passed by.

Don’t ask me why I stop.
Why I walk around the rubble looking
for signs of life, signs of what was,
life.

Perhaps it was my raising,
a father who never believed any old item
could not be brought back from neglect.
How many antiques, houses, things
did he resurrect in the back barn?
I could not tell you. I only know
the restoration was more than a skill,
it was part of who he was.

Perhaps it was my raising,
a mother who felt about people
the way my father felt about things,
never allowing anyone to be abandoned,
even after their collapse, their fall
from life and grace. She somehow still loved them
in the quietest of ways. Even me
in my sometimes most unloveable moments.

Children watch. Children learn,
accept and reject what they see.
These things, mostly, took
and I am left with an eye for the neglected,
a belief that most things, most people
can be brought back from the brink,
resurrected, restored, or at times,
like myself, be made anew.

Unfortunately, I am also old enough
to know some things fall, break, come so undone
there is no bringing them back.
Still, I find them, in the woods,
in the far fields, and I just cannot pass them by,
even if it is to do no more than snap a photograph
or write them a few lines of verse
in remembrance, one last funeral
on a cloudy day, with no one there perhaps
but me, to mourn.

About this poem

The picture was taken about a mile and a half from here, just over the New York border. It’s what is left of an old barn.

Most regular readers know I have a thing for old buildings, complete or in ruins. I stop often to go look, take pictures, feel the energy, and say prayers.

The stuff about my parents is true.

Tom

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