the wood with two names 

By Sean O’Brien

driftwood builds up on the embankment  

downstream from the old house of the newly weds 

the water is still here, mostly  

dead trees stand mangled like scarecrows in crosshatch for miles  

the chimney hacked up a lung on the Bad Nights 

it is cold here, mostly 

soil and rock cling together tight as if there is something to fear  

the stone wall they built a metre high is washed glossy by the rain 

the gravel driveway strains its reach for the clearing in the wood as if pleading for absolution  

not a tyre or boot has met it for years 

it is quiet here, mostly 

though, the songbirds still chime when the clouds part  

however dull and flat, it is still a song of sorts 

they sang along in the days when their cheeks were rosy  

it all seems a lifetime ago when the colour flushed from their cheeks  

the clocks all tell a different story  

so too do the scorch marks  

the songbirds try not to look down anymore  

lest they see the desecrated graves  

and know their call goes unanswered  

even on the Good Days 

they are forgotten here, mostly 


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Articles: 245

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