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Poem & Painting: “LOST HOUSE”


for Henrietta Mantooth

Where was it? Back in the weeds,
in the overgrown field. Grackles
settled on the roof. That’s how
you could see it sometimes—a roof of birds
above the high grass of the field.

Were there ghosts inside? Of course
there were ghosts, and they must have felt
as lost as that house. But why
were they there, why hadn’t they
been released from the earth

they walked on for so many years?
Nobody knows. Not even the ghosts
understand why they sit down and weep
whenever they hear the scratching
of those birds on the roof.

And the passers-by, what do they remember?
Almost nothing. And do we blame them
for that? No, we do not blame them,
since we know how easy it is to forget
almost anything that has happened in this world.

–Lawrence Raab