Driving north on 17, early summer memories, swimming in the Springs, children days and wildflower times.

Small house set back from the road, painted newly white, fresh cut lawn, inviting door and shares drawn right against the building heat of the day.

Framed by shade trees the old man sits on the porch, thinking of days now long gone, U.S. Marines tattooed on his arm, face etched with lines, from laughing or memory? 

(Only be and others like him know what happened there…..)

Still his stories are captivating and therapeutic, a respite from those ghosts that hang in the air like lingering visitors.

Driving north on 116, the old white church, tall windows, preacher standing on the steps when the sermon ends.

He holds a Bible, dressed in vestments, of color and in his face is hope as the congregation goes home. 

The last to leave blew out the altar candles as the noontime sun filled the windows, replacing light for light and the words of prayers and the sermon hang in the air like lingering visitors. 

The house, once red in my earliest memories, then gold, now long gone, if those walls could talk, there are generational lifetimes spelled out in the cracks of those plaster walls. 

There are words in those walls from long ago conversations,  they hang there as if in a gallery and remain like lingering, conversational visitors….

Sometime over the course of the night the dew settled down into the grass and the moon reflected off the windows of the car, the dust finally settled, only now no cars come by and the night is quiet.

The house across the street, abandoned long ago, broken windows, rotting siding, once new, now drifitng away to an eternity of memory and in this night, in the moonlight, it retains some of its former glory, it sits, wondering when some visitor will rescue it from its current fate…..

T.S. Deary

P.A.F.M.