I tripped down the broken sidewalks
past the vines choking shrubs once
trimmed, grass once mowed. Gyrated
broken steps and creaking porch
to push against the peeling paint
of the door where dream began.
The settling house refused to yield
its hold, but I was determined
to enter its drafty rooms, be where
dust and cobwebs illuminated
what seemed so easy to attain.
Feral cats scurried from stained
cushions of the sofa whose once
royal blue clung to my inner eye,
a partly knit sweater, tattered
yarn clinging to the needles,
Middlemarch its edges chewed
by daring rodents dreaming
of nests deep within the walls
where feline paws could never
reach. My mind swayed, hoofing
the discords of internal music,
the might-of-beens grooved
in the hoodwinking wainscot.
The house groaned and the door
left ajar shuddered in laughter
at the dumbshow within, the irony
of return. A long black snake
slithered, soundlessly across the mantle,
mouthed an unsuspecting mouse.