Vacant house,
dust settled on
every surface,
the wallpaper’s
little yellow flowers
now faded.
Afterimages of fingerprints
and height charts,
echoes of laughter
and tears.
The steps groan,
and doors complain,
but I recall
the trees we climbed
to look out
across the town;
the frogs launching
from the edge of
space
in a muddy plume,
venturing into darkness.
Hunting salamanders
and garter snakes
and poppin’ wheelies
on a friend’s stingray.
Banana seats and
sissy bars,
and toys with
no batteries required.
I remember making up
games to play,
always something
to do,
even if it was
nothing.
Nothing more than
walk around town
telling tall tales
while
digging sassafras,
raiding apple orchards
and grapevines.
The house, now vacant,
rooms empty
but for me.
The musty cellar,
the front porch,
full, of visions
no mindfulness
would dare to
dispel.
For living
in this moment
requires a certain
acknowledgement
and acceptance
of the past,
and hope
for the future.
So I choose to believe
in ghosts, even
of the past,
and angels
of tomorrow.

M. Zane McClellan

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