The Empty House

There it sat, in the moonlight,
No longer hearth or home to any one;
No light in the darkened window to call
The weary traveler, when the day was done ...

Cold ashes in the old fireplace,
No spark and no embers glow;
Cracks in the plaster walls
Forgotten, in time. 'Tis so sad to know.

Once, a family had lived here, in this place,
where they grew and loved, and tended it with care;
and knew generation after generation
that had tended it with good repair.

Then, one day, they all left, never to return.
The house, now, sits, appearing sad and so forlorn;
No curtains dressed the windows,
Not another generation here was born.

Snow covered the sagging roof.
From the eaves, long ice spears hung.
No warm fire to welcome the weary traveler
Inside, no loving songs being sung ...

Rainspout tore from the house and
Lay in the falling, drifting, snow; then hidden.
Doors unlocked and left ajar;
To enter was, now, forbidden.

There, on the broken door,
A no trespass sign was posted.
Only the spiders of the summer and
Animals of the winter, in here, was hosted.

It had fallen in such disrepair,
No more love inside;
Spirit, so long ago, departed ~
No longer a vision of one's pride.

The old man had grown so feeble
After she had gone on ahead.
The old house echoed sweet memory
Of the things they did and said.

How they had loved each other and,
Lovingly, raised their children in this home.
But, now, he just walked from room to room
After she left him there, alone.

As he sat in his old rocking chair,
Watching the days come and go,
How many tears he cried for her
No one would ever know.

Then, one day, the postman came and
Opened the door to give the man his mail.
There the old man sat,
Looking white and pale.

Reaching out to touch the gnarled
Fingers of hands cold and blue,
Fearing what he beheld;
The old man had gone to heaven, too.

The kids all grown and, for years now,
Had left and moved away.
None had any interest, so sad,
In the old house, that day.

After taking their precious father to
Where their mother was long ago buried,
Now they were, once again, together ~
Separated, only by death, since the day they'd married.

Locking the doors, for one last time,
Of that old house and, turning, took one last look;
Like closing the cover
Of a well read family book.

The house had known so much love
And provided shelter to its own.
The old cold house (now so dark),
Just a house, no longer was a home.

What it really needed was a family
To light a new fire inside;
To hear laughter, once again, ring out
And for love to come ... there to abide.

With a little tender care,
The house would come to life, once more:
New curtains at the windows and such,
And a welcome mat at the door.

Fire in the fireplace,
In the window ~ a candle lit;
Signal, to the weary traveler,
A home and hearth, and love inside of it.

A time to make new memories,
A place for children to grow up and live,
Nourished by a family in love secure.
A shelter, this old house could give.

2003 by Sandra Griffin



Top image is ~ John/Heavens Gates ~
Thank you John for allowing me to use this wonderful image!

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