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Weeds and Roses

The architecture began to fall away, the weeds
winning their war against the roses, hiding
the window frames, the porches,
and everything that once was inside.

Years ago, it was a place
that sang a song of lives
lived, paraded by the yellow roses
that lined the drive, surrounding
the house, a bit of sunshine
surrendering to the welcome mat.

I used to try and remember it that way.
I would squint at the faded shutters,
whenever I’d drive by. Sometimes,
I’d pull over and breathe in the summer air,
trying to resurrect more than
the memories – those are fading, too.

I wonder what the walls remember,
if laughter still echoes there, or if long-gone
pots of coffee have left their
love behind. What ghosts wait patiently
amid the dust and silence?
Do they dare to look outside?
Do they dare sing the old songs?
Perhaps even they have forgotten the words.

They say a place keeps its own memory,
tending to itself. I do not know if that is true.
I do not know how to see beyond
the ruin, or how it could even be repaired.
The work is no longer mine,
even though I once lived there.
The promise of the land has been replaced
and wrecked – someday,
someday soon,
I will not stop. I will simply pass by
what was, and I will forget to even smile.

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