Where I Went for Comfort

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To a sturdy rocking chair
in the barn, beneath trap
doors on the second floor
they used to use for dropping
hay to the horses below,
there in the cold–rusty tins,
the lamp my grandfather
fastened to an old sawhorse,
a photograph in my mind
only of his big hands,
I stopped to ask questions
of inheritance and memory,
garden stakes, baby swings,
the bright green hose
waiting to uncoil for spring,
broken baskets and empty
paint cans and the widow’s
walk we hoped would hold
the weight of our secret bodies,
there between a poet’s room
and her family plot, untold
stories of love and work,
of building with one’s own
hands what withstood
generations of winter
and change, I came not
to explain but to listen
for what could be heard
only in the long, white
passage between.

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