The Lonely House

by Stephen Paden

It was cold if I remember
in the bitter month December
when your brothers carried you
just down the road into your tomb

The falling snow was falling harder
as my mind began to wander
broken thoughts, a rhyme or two
but always coming back to you

The plague that fell upon our home
where children played and love had roamed
crept in one evening, clever, stealing
love and life, and every feeling

Now the house broods on the hill
where love is dead and movement still
no vibrant sounds will ever find me
cold apparitions sit beside me

Lowly echoes turn to whispers
telling me how much I miss her
then at once the voices rose
breaking down my fragile pose

On the ground I found no solace
demons cackling as a chorus
judgment flying swift around me
wails and cries never retreating—

Like a devil’s laughter bounding
through my soul and all around me
then at once an utter silence
but my fear, I could not hide it

Jumping up I dashed for freedom
from the house and all its demons
the nightly air coursed through my lungs
into the somber evening young

Then I saw her by the water
wearing white, the mill-hand’s daughter
just a smile before she faded
then my anxiousness abated

“I am sorry that you left me
In my mind you are so deftly
laughing, playing, dancing, dreaming
in our world where love was beaming.”

Then a whisper, cool and pleasant
in my ears like silky resin
flowed throughout me as if searching
for a demon that was perching

‘It is love you will remember
from that bitter cold December
but when the birds and trees return
in newer love your heart will burn.’

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