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Old House Found While Hiking

                                    Christian Anton Gerard

We shouldn’t talk anymore tonight—
The old house smells enough like cedar
to conjure rain in a soft wood, a riverbank

making love to blackberry bushes.
The dilapidated rocking chair
waits for someone on the front porch,

aloof to its age and more
like a Spartan sentry wondering
if smoke from the little fire we built

in the stone and mortar fireplace
is reason to call for help.
The old house smells enough like honeysuckle

growing through shrinking floorboards;
imagine a crown atop a royal head,
so delicate and valuable, but blooming,

oh my God blooming every house or hut
in the countryside into oblivion.
Royal names were spoken in this house,

I’m sure. Though we didn’t find any
boxes of love letters or gossip. Only
a tin of shoe polish, mostly used up.

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