Part of this home has regressed, it has fallen
in and of its own beginning. So we take footing
on ground hallowed, kept for the rapture,
and watch as the swallows dart in and out.
See through the field-glasses, the eyes blinking
through cracked mullion, beyond frosted counterpane;
the table broken in anguish back in youth’s day,
six centuries in she wept huddled in that corner.
The box of matches on the dresser in the hallway,
waiting for the word, eager to serve.
The ripped bills, contracts under teetering wardrobes
in cobwebbed mire. Papers strewn, here, there.
A dusted, padlocked trophy (few remember),
rows of medals, that charming rose clipped (few remember still).
Coach and horse, the print in state, gilded frame,
splitting golden snow over lock and wall, river, road;
Shotguns, hounds, cricket bats, biscuit tins.
Portraits stare blank, waste or wax as case may be.
The quill, now drying…
Out through smashed window, back up an uncertain hill,
the breeze from distant skies blows futile against
the long-embedded damp.