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I heard about an old shack out in the fields
brooding amongst the husks of long dead corn-stalks.
The mud and log house belonged to a couple,
a farmer (and his wife) who leveled the woods
to work the land. He build the house from the
forest he cleared: roof from the bark, walls mud and oak,
lastly, the rocking chair from a spruce by the stream.
From the rooster’s caw till his knees gave,
he worked those fields, but the fields would not
work for him. A harvest’s day ended with
a meal (from his wife, who sewed, swept, sang soft
till her husband stumbled home). They never
had much (she never protested). They withered
and wilted like the crop they would reap,
but the man like the land would never lay fallow.
The chair’s legs grew polished while the
man hunched and gnarled (the wife
sank into the chair like a stone). The
walls needed mending; the roof had five leaks; the
rain had stopped pouring; (the wife’s grin descended).
Late Autumn, they say, he never returned.
(The wife sat alone, with the meal, ‘neath the stars).
December did pass, the food had sat cold,
while shingles all shuffled and cracked like her bones.
Although now one walls gone and the roofs part caved in,
the cornstalks still rustle and the chair’s heels still creak.