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  • Someone built the house and planted trees in such a way as to provide escape from the sun and rain. It's small, just one story, with the front and back door opposite each other, good for letting spring breezes blow through. The front door faces the setting sun. Built long before air conditioning or central heat, not even wired for electricity. The windows are bony fingers of glass waiting to grab hold of the shirts of curious little boys. The front porch leans with age and neglect and groans a protest with each step. The roof is the same faded greenish brown as drying moss. Chimney bricks lean gracefully to the east as if waiting patiently to greet the dawn. The house, nondescript and weathered gray, the paint removed by wind and rain, sun and time. I wonder what color it was when it was alive.

    There are signs the house was once used for storage, for grain or feed, maybe even for animals, but the tell-tale signs of a home are there too. Small jars filled with buttons and other pretties line the back of a cabinet with it's door hanging by one loose hinge. There are yellowed tatters of lace under the rotting boards. Other remnants of it's past are found lurking in the crawl space and hidden inside the walls. Papers, a bit of cloth, an old shoe, some writing on the beams. There is a boarded up well out back.

    The corners are full of left-overs: leaves and soda cans and paper bags advertising food done fast. Miscellaneous bits and pieces of days and months and years.

    The back room is partly burned away, victim of a lightning strike or a careless match lit by teenagers looking for a place to steal kisses. There is the faintest lingering memory of acrid smoke in the hearthstones and walls and buckled floorboards. A hole in the ceiling is framed by the broken and blackened ends of rafters. If you lay on your back in the middle of the floor on a summer night, you will see the stars and the moon, and the tip ends of branches rustling in the dark winds. It is a desperate beautiful ruin.

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