After pacing his house for sixty years,
his body became those hardwood floors,
that groan under the pressure of footsteps.
He spent fifteen of those years bending
into the slope of his cane,
slowly falling into the black vinyl
of his wheelchair.
The months between Christmas and birthdays
whittle his bones like the oak crossbeams,
blessed by the appetite of termites.
His joints hollowed into
an instrument of complaint.
The lives within his dusty rolodex
continued to gather speed,
and the years between his children’s visits
became lifetimes
when the music of liver pills and calcium drinks,
was silenced by a wind,
over the floorboards.

A couple from the city comes two months later
to buy his house. The first years pass noisily.
Children are born, chasing rattles
beneath uncovered furniture.
Love, like children escape through the front door,
carried away by the breeze.
The last years pass quietly
as a divorced man loses touch with his children
and paces his own path,
into the dark, warped wood.

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