A Time for Drift

The handle of the iron door is chilled

By wind that gusts relentless through the yard,

this gated square in which a tree claws stark

and weathered branches toward the clouds. Leaves cling,

crisp paper shells of red and brown, just one

thin stem away from death; and exile, heaped

in cluttered corners of this fenced-in plot.

I press the doorbell inward; hollow tones

resound and echo passages of times.

A prudish face appears behind the screen,

Warm eyes are bright with love and pride atop

the tired ages in their watery depths.

Her crinkled smile still welcomes me inside

this home, where women stare at TV fuzz

all day, or, silent, sit in tall porch-chairs

and stare beyond the gaunt and pitted tree

whose leaves are snapped by autumn wind, and drift…

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