Bleak skies hover  
An old home stands in silence
Awaiting final darkness.

          Once a family fortress,
          Standing proud
          Offering sanctuary for her loved ones. 

          The bite of winter’s night left no sting
          Crackling coals warmed hearth and hearts
          A hot poker stirred fireplace embers
          Hickory smoke wound from the chimney.

          Musk of baked bread wafted through the halls
          A mother’s face smiled above a blue-rimmed platter
          Of steaming potatoes and succulent roast
          Soft oven mittens protected frail hands.

 Now the pantry is empty
 Ashes lie cold in the dusty fireplace
 Cobwebs, dampness permeate musty rooms
 Tarnished windows reflect dark clouds.

 Winter wind blows 
 In its haunting howl the old house trembles
 Familiar footsteps no longer cross the threshold
 Echoes of the past grow ever fainter.

 The children have grown old
 A forgotten swing sways below a barren branch 
 Once cherished, now forsaken
 The old home will succumb to winter’s icy mantle.

           Will anyone mourn her passing?

[NOTE: Poem is a tribute to former Lance Crossing home on US 129, Ranger, NC]