peter layton hewn boards I hear ghosts in the house they frolic and faint there was a time when this house was the only one on the flat plain yawning grasses and thin mud swamps buggy tracks'd go knee deep you lived for the rains when there was little else horse boned housewives'd sit on the prairie counting children and clouds beating rugs til the end of the day caught up in a coughed mist the husbands'd drink, put his hands on the Bible, work on making new ones til almost dawn they edged me this house paint and shutters hurting there's the tots' names carved into a back porch swing Saylee, Marcus, William, Mary, who tried to take care of the place, all taken down in their raw and mild youth typhus or cholera the doctors didn't know in '73 now the eaves are hawk swing quiet except for the dying sounds of sighs which could be the wind slowly pulling itself around the exposed corners frontiers/2004/vol. 25, no. 1 flags on poles the wind blows in chunks you can view the pieces like blown building sides scraped from the sky, the nails flying, and I watch
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
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