Old Houses

Bereft for decades

of inhabitants,

they loom

beneath the branches

of ancient oaks

like mute matriarchs

with arms crossed,


staring down the dark.

When the wind blows,

wavy windowpanes

clatter in their frames

like death rattles.

The gables, embellished

with gingerbread,


are iridescent

and murmurous

with pigeons.

In their grand,

airy rooms,

haunted with the ghosts

of a thousand stories,


shafts of moonshine

come suddenly alive

with motes tumbling

and spiraling

like acrobats

in tiny, silent

circuses of lights.

    —Larry D. Thomas

This poem, and others by Larry D. Thomas, can be found in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue 38.1.


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