Monday, February 27, 2012

Abandoned House

The door flapped like cardboard on its hinges,
A hole kicked in its splintering red front.
The pane-less windows, framed by whitewashed walls,
Gave only the view of deep dark inside.
The half-burnt blinds fluttered like a butterfly’s wings
Where the glass once sat, singed orange and brown and black at the bottom.
A wild hedge grew unbridled along the low roof
From behind the house, and it dangled over the whole left side.
Thorns covered the wall to the left of the door
And the hedge was their canopy.

We took little notice of the dragonflies on the collapsed boundary of
Sea-weathered limestone rocks, or where tiles were missing
On that bit of the roof still free to roast under
The blue June sky and its hot June sun.
We laughed, lightly stepping through the
Fallen stones and crawling thorns and
Violet thistles and wild yellow flowers.
She gently pushed her way through the door, and
It jerked forwards towards me again, the wood itself
Bending as the rusted hinges stuck, and then I followed her in.

This was no ugly vessel of hidden inner beauty.
The toll of nature outside was matched by the actions of young people inside.
Crushed cans, glass bottles with ants floating in stale vodka,
Cigarette boxes and matchboxes and an ancient stained mattress,
An old cupboard and shelves lying face-down in the corner
Half-hidden by damp ancient tabloids and obsolete white shopping bags.
Flies wrapped in long abandoned spiders’ webs, wasp carcasses in the recess of
One window, the fuse box above the stairs left open with its meter removed and
Cut wires perpetually looking down on the five remaining wooden steps.
We found a letter in a torn envelope, fifty three years old.

We stood in the dusty dusk, the crumbled ceiling under-foot,
And there we kissed

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