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Days of Old
The woman enters the old garden
Enclosed in stone,
What used to be a playground
In days of old.
A swing set, a jungle gym,
A maypole, a memory,
A place to escape, to play
In days of old.
An urge grips the girl,
And she follows it — she calls,
"Portia, Portia!" for they are eternal,
The limitless days of old.
Out from behind a verdant tree —
The girl rushes forward at the sight —
A dog rushes and jumps with glee,
As in those wonderful days of old.
The dog rushes away and looks back at her,
And the girl follows in its uneven tracks.
A whisper rises from the wall, unfamiliar
To the days of old.
Her attention grasped by the dog's prancing,
The girl doesn't notice the trees return
To their barren, dying branches, contrasting
The cherished days of old.
The dog bounds further into the trees,
And the whispers steadily grow louder.
The jungle gym no longer gleams
As it did in days of old.
The whispers augment now.
She might hear them soon;
Rust begins to scour
The blessed days of old.
The dog hides behind a bough
Which has withered and died with age.
The girl falters and begins to slow,
Questioning those days of old.
The girl freezes, screams in fright,
As, no longer soft, the dog that had died
Long ago bounds back into sight,
Consuming the days of old.
The girl runs away,
For the whispers are now like screams,
Where is the entrance? She cannot stay
In her beloved days of old.
There it is, the wrought-iron gate
That will lead her away
From the decomposing fate
Of the days of old.
But someone stands there!
A cloaked figure blocks the way!
From here, too, come the whispers that mar
The glorious days of old.
But the figure moves aside,
So the woman can rush past,
No longer the girl who would fly
Above the days of old.
The hooded figure knows she'll be back,
Because that place remains a beacon to her,
Though it has ended for now, the flashback
Of the coveted days of old.