Directions to a Ruin
Edison Jennings

Follow Spoon Gap Road past the Free Will Church
and find a wide-hipped chimney stub
girdled with a snarl of berries, dark and sweet
this time of year, rooted in the fireplace,
blacksmithed pot-hook curled like a come-here finger,
but the house is gone.  Lightning burned it down,
the crooked stroke still scarred across the hearth.
In easy view from where a doorway
might have been, several generations lie
beneath a hill toothed with snaggled headstones
tilted by a hundred years of freeze and thaw
where love’s observance long ago succumbed
to underbrush and new-growth oak and grief’s
alphabet weathered to a palimpsest
on lichen freckled slates. You might rest there,
stretch out in the chimney shade and taste
the wild blackberries, slightly tart with ash.

Previously published in The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, 2002

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