The Four Sisters

The four sisters,

sentries guarding

the rear flank

beyond the stone wall,

a property line

run right down

the middle of the valley

about the time

of the Civil War.

Cacophony visited at dawn

when six crows appeared

in their intertwining

branches, a serious

debrief to decide

the days mission.

A bit later

does ambled over,

only to be startled

by the urine markings

sprayed across their trunks

last night by a coyote.

The sisters whisper

their shared longing

for spring’s return.

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.