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  • It’s a little faded red cabin

    In the middle of a field of long grasses

    The red on the wooden frame is the color you see on old faded barns

    Paint chipping, and exposed grey wood underneath

    Red but not bright

    Red worn in the sun

    I’ve always wanted an A-framed house.

    The first time I saw it

    I leapt to it

    Practically ran toward it,

    Falling down

    It was like a vision

    From another life

    When you see something so familiar

    You must run and embrace it

    At all costs

    There’s not much to it,

    Just a small room and a kitchen

    And upstairs a loft with a big wooden ladder

    Every night is a small adventure

    to climb the ladder

    and climb into bed

    It smells like cedar and cinnamon

    All the lights in the house are dim

    And warm

    There is an antique gold couch

    Made of crushed velvet

    With warm blankets on the back that do not match

    And cushions that sink into the couch when you sit on them

    And a small black and white tv

    That gets only local channels

    And has big rabbit ears

    That we twist and turn

    Sometimes at night

    We go here sometimes

    And live a different life

    One that you go out into the forest and cut down old oak trees

    And come home with sweat on your forehead

    And dirt encrusted on your palms

    And maybe a little blood on your knuckles from fallen branches being carried home

    And I cook a little meat

    On the old gas stove

    That takes me two matches to light

    Most days you are gone for hours

    And I read by dim light

    Without my makeup on

    And hair long and curly

    In an white embroidered nightgown

    When I see you making your way from the forest

    On our long driveway of broken earth and gravel

    I walk out to you barefoot

    And bring you tall glasses of water

    And wash your hands

    And mend your cuts

    And kiss the sweat from your forehead

    And thank you for the hard work you’ve done

    At night we make a fire

    With the big box of matches

    With the rectangular coarse strike on the side

    that has those brown woven-like patterns

    And little tracks of white traces

    From previous days

    We carefully fold our century old newspapers

    Stories of all our old relatives

    We read the stories aloud

    and think about way back when

    and what it would be like

    to be him

    and her

    stories of the war

    stories of true love

    read aloud again

    and remembered

    And we set them to flame

    In a cast iron cooking stove

    Watching the paper ignite

    And burn quickly

    Lighting the logs from the forest

    And let the fire slowly fade out

    We celebrate and embrace their life

    Once again

    And watch them turn into something new

    And further blend our lives together

    The old and the new

    From the ashes

    We collect their life

    And save them in mason jars

    Labeled with masking tape and magic markers

    A family tree of their names, and dates, and faces

    Their smiles torn from the newspaper

    Little oval portraits

    That tell us of another life

    We keep the ashes on a tall wooden shelf you made

    To always remember the date

    And the time that we had

    witnessed together our little fire

    The storms at night can get rather nasty

    And rain will press against the windows

    Begging for attention

    The house will creak at night

    And settle in slowly

    We rock one another

    On a white steel bed

    After climbing the ladder

    After putting the fire out

    I wake at daybreak

    Let you lie sleeping

    And walk to the water

    And sit by the dock

    And wait

    I watch the loons dive into the water

    And feed the baby ducks bread

    And sometimes stay there all day

    Waiting for the northern lights to come out

    We may kiss sometimes

    Or hold hands

    Or act in ways that lovers do

    But that feeling of falling

    Always draws us back into truth

    Did you know I’ve never seen a falling star?

    These things cannot be planned out

    I would wait all night on the dock looking up at the stars

    Waiting for one

    To swoop down and greet me

    He would tell me

    There it is

    You just missed it

    And laugh

    I would push him into the water

    And say

    It’s not funny

    And pout

    Until he’d tell me

    He was only kidding

    And bring his damp hair to me to wring out

    I come back sometimes alone

    But never cut the tall grasses

    Never paint the house

    Dust and sew a little

    But just enough

    I like to keep it cherished

    And worn down

    And lived in

    It reminds me of us

    In that way

    Little silver trinkets

    Left for me in the window sills in the sunlight

    Let me know he was here too

    Just visiting

    Sometimes at night I hold onto him

    And remember you

    when I am not here in my little house

    Sometimes this is all I can do

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