The handle of the iron door is chilled
By wind that gusts relentless through the yard,
this gated square in which a tree claws stark
and weathered branches toward the clouds. Leaves cling,
crisp paper shells of red and brown, just one
thin stem away from death; and exile, heaped
in cluttered corners of this fenced-in plot.
I press the doorbell inward; hollow tones
resound and echo passages of times.
A prudish face appears behind the screen,
Warm eyes are bright with love and pride atop
the tired ages in their watery depths.
Her crinkled smile still welcomes me inside
this home, where women stare at TV fuzz
all day, or, silent, sit in tall porch-chairs
and stare beyond the gaunt and pitted tree
whose leaves are snapped by autumn wind, and drift…
This poem was written several years ago and originally published in 2016 in Medium’s Poets Unlimited publication.