A Childhood

Dad long gone
and mom at work,
I walked alone,
an explorer
through the wood,
to strange fields
which faced
an unknown road.

A decaying house
stood just beyond the trees.
Tractor treads
crushed a circle path
in the grass
around its bare
clapboard frame.

Through the rippled windows
I saw every room was empty,
ancient wallpaper flaking
to the floor,

except an old gray suit jacket
hung from a wire hanger
on a bedroom door.

Drying wheat stalks
rustled in June breeze.
Birds flitted
among maples
and oaks,
calling to each other.

I turned back
toward home,
just a different