Summer’s final fruit clutches the bough;

her quill draws more ink

as ice dusts the window’s edge.

The candle’s wick burns,

and burns,

and burns…

the light of the eve deepens,

and for company:

scratch of the pen,

clink of the inkwell,

tick of the timepiece.

Supplication pours onto parchment,

added to the stack of prayers

growing beside the desk,

and steam lifts into the room

from a chipped china cup.

The spaces in between, punctuated

by the snap of burning logs

from the fire that takes in the air,

and sends up the smoke of dreams

that refuse to die.

There are ghosts here, you know.

They wander the acres outside,

and will often come sit by the mantle,

having forgotten themselves,

unaware of the lineage

hidden in the cracked, leather-bound Bible.

Even in an empty house,

a reliquary haven,

we carefully place our harvests of memory

in the rooms, and in the halls:

the grandfather clock,

the queen bed,

twin trunks in the attic-

one, empty;

the other, filled with sacraments.

This is a covenant, you know-

with the oak and the axe,

with the wheat and the chaff,

with the thread and the loom,

with the earth and the plow.

And as her pen moves in the twilight,

the ghosts watch through the window

as the apple falls,

and, crackling, hits the frosted grass below.


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