by J.R. Manning, Sr.
A two-family house stands alone,
Abandoned, with broken windows
In its urban Upstate setting.
Today, we call it a tough neighborhood.
Once a jaunty yellow with fancy trim,
Faded now. The wooden porch askew,
The doorway dark and nailed shut.
White window trim pealed and dulling.
No other house on the lonely block
Shares the same once vibrant color.
I wonder how long it’s been since the house
Saw bad boys throwing crab apples, or
Girls hanging fresh laundry out in the sun.
Caught the fragrance of Thanksgiving wafting its halls.
Heard children’s laughter or a baby’s cry.
The clink of milk bottles delivered on the step.
Dad’s radio blaring the glories of DiMaggio,
Or the stuttering joy from lovers late at night.
Its time has passed, forever, but perhaps somewhere
An old gal wakes up from a nap in the solarium
With a smile on her weathered face, remembering
The yellow house
She lived in as a kid.
Her happy memory lingers.