I fell in love at first glance,
riding in the country by chance.
Suddenly, there she was,
sitting in the shade of two, tall trees,
evergreens that moved gently
with the wind.
It seemed she’d been abandoned,
left on her own for quite some time,
sadly alone, waiting for someone
to come back and love her
as she deserved.
With the quiet dignity of those
who’ve lost everything
but their own self worth,
she offered the door and showed us in.
Built of red brick, she was solid though aged,
with fireplaces aching to burn
in a living room that once entertained,
wallpaper of gilt, now ragged and worn
hinting at grandeur gone by.
A smooth, dark staircase, perhaps walnut, maybe cherry,
rose from each end of the room in still graceful curves;
one side for the Mr. and Mrs.,
the other for children to climb up and slide down.
Bedrooms meant for dreams and the future
beneath heavy beams built to last generations
now echoed the past as brittle leaves
skittered and jumped across bare plank floors.
The kitchen yearned for a cook
to fill the musty dry air with smells
of a Sunday dinner roasting in the oven,
beef with carrots, potatoes and cloves,
apple pie steaming side board
for dessert, chunks of cheddar cut
and ready to serve.
Empty oak shelves in the pantry
whispered memories of preserves, conserves
and jams put by with tall bottles of Elderberry wine
while the window filled with shafts of golden sun
and shadowy glimpses of clean laundry
snapping in the breeze outside.
I fell in love that day and mourned her loss
when she could not wait for me,
fading into nothing but the memory of yesterday
and fragments of fragile hopes.
Now those trees mark her resting place
with only a few to grieve her loss:
the wind, the trees and I.