Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Abandoned Farmhouse

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm--a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Ted Kooser

Image by Emphatic Reprieve Photography.


Sara said...

So what do you imagine happened?

Jay's Shadow said...

I need to buy me an old farm house.

Rot said...

Not sure what I pictured happening.
I loved the mystery of it.
LOVE the loose ends.

Willow Cove said...

That's so mysterious. Love it.

Joel said...

This may be the darkest thing I've seen on this blog.

jeff said...

That's a good, low budget, slow burn film premise right there.

girl6 said...

i Feel like i'm there, walking among the ghosts. :(

this part made me xtra weepy...
"a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls"

it's just like the husband. :(