Abandonments below 0°F

Three generations,

seventeen individuals if

we include the two lost in childbirth.

Perhaps not here since

those never knew the warmth

of the potbelly stove fully stoked

when outside temps fell

below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

They share a marker

in the corner of the family plot,

down the path,

beneath a small grove of pines

just beyond the barn:

Clara – Evan

I suppose it is good

they have each other

carved with that distinct dash

demarcating their respective

sides of the badly worn stone.

It would have been

nice to know the year.

1871? 1917?

I guess it does not change

the tenor of this story much.

They never shared a day

playing in the yard.

They never shared the warmth

of the potbelly stove.

Written in response to The Amplification Effect #4, an abandoned house.


Sunset along 42nd St. by Richard Reeve

Complexities aside,

or feigned naivety,

or a host of other postures

pedestrians enliven

at well traversed intersections

and forgotten alleyways alike,

our lives unlikely

to intersect again.

While memory had already

dropped the content

of the previous phone call,

not so this brush

with your being

and the glance,

your haunting glance,

held for but a second,

encapsulating the grace

and tyranny with which

we draw life, no,

with which we siphon life,


Your haunting glance

convinced neither

of the next breath

nor subscribed

to assumed comforts,

exposed the starkness

of warfare in the midst

of a typical rush hour.

I will never learn the context,

but instantly knew

your eyes had

just seen or we’re headed

to a showdown with death.

Thankfully I remembered,

I should pick up some take out

on the way home.

That’s what the last call was about.