house of ghosts

it is a house of ghosts

every corridor
veers into shadows

creak of old hinges,
original, hardwood flooring
clanging of ancient, iron pipes

scraping, scratching
from behind the walls,
below the floors and from the attic, above

things too small to see
things that can’t be seen, at all
things that receive no mail, no visitors
things that aren’t supposed to be here
or anywhere else

quick, bright flashes
memory’s dim lenses
flecked with dust and specters

once, a place of mirth and much company
echoes of laughter, music and children,
floating through every hallway

scents of pot roast, potatoes and carrots,
cigars, perfumes, liquors,
fruit tree logs crackling in the fireplace,
roses, thyme, basil, rosemary
and lavender from the garden,
drifting in through the open windows,
freshly baked pies and cookies
all washing over the senses
of friends and neighbors

finely crafted furniture of oak and leather,
where once they sat, sipping teas and sewing,
nursing babies, reading the newspapers,
scratching the chins of kittens and puppies,
holding hands, kissing in the happy hours,
consoling each other, after some loss

all of it now covered over by tarps
draped with sheets and drop cloths
consumed by the dry rot of time
or dampness, the mildew
and stale, trapped air
which slowly made their way in

these too, desired to stay here, forever
to find a home, within these walls

anymore, only whispers
float through these rooms

no one has lived here for many years

the kitchen, bedrooms, parlor
all bare and sullen
the pantries stocked only
with cobwebs of memory

this house was the home
of more than a few hearts
a place of comfort and rest
for a great many souls

it still is

this house has
never been empty


©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell


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