A Wooden Ghost
(from a family photograph, 1890’s)
I saw this house last year (a cousin took me there),
its floors collapsed, now overgrown with vines and
pokeweed bush, a port for mice, a wooden ghost,
That’s my grandmother Fannie on the porch, a child,
a twin, and Annie, too, in dresses sewn to match.
This was home— all ten are there, flesh and bone,
Steel and cloth (no thought of me, though in the photo
trees are bare, winter about to go or come, I think).
Beyond the double porches, one above and one below,
are fields where leaves have blown to rest with
primrose blooms, where carrel and horses graze, and
near somewhere the garden, harvested and saved,
and deep inside— soft-tucked in whispers there
beyond my touch— the sick bed and the death bed
and the borning room, where passed from them to me
somehow the love of simple things, and love itself.
© The Estate of Sandford Lyne