Columbus, OH

The other day I came upon
An ordinary house on the corner
In a quiet neighborhood in Ohio
Concrete steps up from the sidewalk
Cutting through the rounded manicured lawn
To a white porch trimmed in yellow
A small carved wooden sign by the door
Reminded me of who once lived here
And what miracles happened in the kitchen
Another sign told me of limited “business hours”
And I was late; but I got there

Turning to the lawn and finding the round rock
That had been dropped, a simple marker
For those who know the house’s history
A monument that humbly dwarfs sequoias
For those who have gone before
I stepped acros the street to get a new view
Went ‘round back to see where the trash was taken out
And returned to the rock and said a prayer

As I walked thru the neighborhood looking for a phone
The normalcy nearly silenced me
A little boy riding too fast on a bike with training wheels
His mother craning her neck and waiting for the crash
Hungover workers chuckling about the guy who still slept
The house where the lawn grew and died
The shades pulled, silent as an empty nest
Kicked from a tree’s roots to the bushes
A woman’s fear as I stood and stared back
At the two houses composing my thoughts
That this stranger’s silence was no sign of a pilgrim but of death;
Perhaps the moment hid my reprieve or her disease
All within 4 blocks of the place
Where two men talking in the 30’s
Saved my life in the 80’s
When both were dead and gone
But not forgotten
I turned the corner and my view of
Anne and Bob’s house was gone
But I will carry that day with me for a good long while.