A chimney on a low rise standing sentinel
On the loosely scattered outskirts of town.
A reminder of an old house built by hand,
The home around the hearth long fallen down.
The silvery frost covering the remnants
Of the old broken place spilled on the ground,
No room hereabouts for cheap sentiment,
It’s bleached broken bones now earthward bound.
Wandering through someone else’s ruins
My imagination starts to take hold.
Discovering relics from times long since past,
Anonymous, broken, rusted and old.
I spy a grand old wood fired oven’s legs
Sprawled akimbo all four across the floor.
With its door ajar and enamel cracked,
It’ll provide them warmth and food no more.
The floorboards cling to the twisted bearers,
Bleached pine timbers cracked, warped and twisted.
Only wind swept and no longer mopped with pride,
Their gaps now hide rabbits no longer hunted.
Amongst the wooden wreckage lay scattered
Shards of brilliant and broken lead stained glass.
Elegant reminders of another time
when no-one thought this would come to pass.
A time when the front door was always open
And the pine rafters inside rang with life.
When a family filled the space with laughter
And gathered at the hearth in times of strife.
A battered and blackened iron pot upturned,
Rusted holes, cracked and weathered through.
It’ll never again be used to boil up
A feed of mouth watering mutton stew.
Handles, hinges, bolts and rusty nails too,
Lay in abandonment across the grounds.
The daffodils, jonquils and geraniums,
Now foreign to the garden’s new surrounds.
An aching head betrays a tired sadness
At forgotten scenes of decay and neglect.
Ignorant passers by cause me to wince,
As on this families history I reflect.
This one too from our sight they’ll soon remove
As progresses heavy capped boots march in.
The suburbs swallowing up our old farms,
As new histories in new houses begin.
I’ve come across many such sites of times past
As around the back blocks I’ve wandered.
If your eyes were open you’ll have seen them,
But do you care for our heritage squandered?
Copyright © Fred Hundy