hewn boards


I hear ghosts in the house they

frolic and faint there was a time when

this house was the only one on the flat plain

yawning grasses and thin mud swamps

buggy tracks’d go knee deep

you lived for the rains

when there was little else

horse boned housewives’d sit on the prairie

counting children and clouds

beating rugs til the end of the day

caught up in coughed mist

the husbands’d drink, put his hands on the Bible,

work on making new ones til almost dawn

they edged me this house

paint and shutters hurting

there’s the tots’ names carved into a back porch swing

Saylee, Marcus, William, Mary,

who tried to take care of the place,

all taken down in their raw and mild youth

typhus or cholera the doctors didn’t know

in ‘73

now the eaves are hawk swing quiet except for the

dying sounds of sighs

which could be the wind

slowly pulling itself around the exposed corners