morning and evening shadows walk the cracked walls

The thick chalk paint peels and

the wooden window shutters split

The hot season can coax voices from this house

Open its broken binding like a book

Read the histories thumbed on the pages of the rooms

Angles corners rubbed soft loved yellow

The arthritic bones of the ceiling beams 

                                ache above me

and like the leaves not swept from the courtyard

Time accumulates and drifts slowly

Later I shall stalk my ancestors

Draw up close under their sun beaten wrinkles

        Watch this black ink fix to their heavy frowns

Before I close up the house

Robert James Berry