The house emerged from under
A museum of purposeful chairs:
the overstuffed green variety,
Nan’s highchair with stenciled flowers,
straight back kitchen chairs.
Plates still out, dusty by time.
The weight of years without
hands to clean and dirty them.
The curtains repurposed as
fractured calico floor scraps.
Even after washing dishes in the brook,
hanging our coats over the windows,
we cannot stay.
Our life here an unconceivable one.
Those memories of beds and forks,
must have belonged to others.
Strange filters around the distant fights
and sherry-filled parties.
Two days later—the comforters restuffed with hay,
the albums dusted off, books breathing again
—we return to the woods.
The house a monument, a museum, a library.
Not needed, and not ours.
How strange it felt, to pile leaves on top
of my wool sweater. Tie orange sleeve to orange sleeve
before laying my head down.
My brother covered my body with leaves and needles,
so I could be nothing worth notice
and warm. Food was hard to find
before we discovered roots for winter,
rosehips for spring. In the summer and fall
bounty overwhelmed us. The longings we once held
for mattresses, refrigerators, lamps,
replaced by lakes and loons before the sun rose.
Knitting scraps of wool into sweaters.
Praying every day, earnest words
to the God we could all now feel coming.