Or see old farm equipment covered in kudzu and brambles,
I think of my father.
I remember him on tractors or in old cars,
Lincolns mostly, classics he collected from the forties.
Or Suburbans, (his cars were always green,) and pickup trucks.
I see him jungle-cruising down grassy paths
Toward destinations of his making.
Clearings in space, fields of alfalfa or newly planted trees.
Hundreds of trees he and my mother planted together,
Six to twelve inch twigs now tower over
The house they built.
Built their dream house
Of Cedar and glass,
Windows stained and leaded,
And barn wood walls towering thirty feet high.
A labor of love
Of their stress and wringing of hands
Love poured into each corner,
A cupola reached by a library ladder lit with
Filled with music from a baby grand player piano
No one else has room for now.
Housing personalities larger than life,
Greek man at his stove, popping popcorn
Wearing a fez, white boxers and
A holstered gun.
Heartache and illness,
Death too soon and
So many thanks unspoken,
Regrets and pain.
We cannot know the purpose of it.
Or of my mother’s life beyond his.
Creaming her face every night,
And before her feet hit the ground, putting on lipstick.
Caregiving all her life,
Serving an angelic purpose.
Now our legacy is
Of strangers dwelling within that house,
The spirits of those we love, no longer
Inhabiting but with us wherever we go.
It is but a shell,
And the grassy paths lead to nowhere.