It used to be someone’s home. The old rusty mailbox leaning on a rotten wood post just off 2243 said so.
It used to be somebodies home and children played in the yard with the new puppy they got for Christmas running back and forth laughing to the sound of frost crunching beneath their feet.
It was somebodies home when they ran out of the house late, to the car waiting in the drive with the engine on, then turned back round taking the porch steps two at a time for a forgotten brown bag lunch, then back out the house just as it started to rain. Maybe still on time for the bell.
It used to be someone’s home and one spring she planted marigolds right there out front of the box woods, while the kids napped. Later she ran up and down, in and out of the house over and over bringing in groceries to the clap of the screen door, wood banging against wood and freshly oiled, still creaky springs. Later that summer the neighbors rooster ate the marigolds and the dog ate the rooster, but no one was sad.
It used to be someone’s home and first days of school turned to last, both painfully slow and in the blink of an eye. Summer and the smell of fresh cut grass turned to crisp autumn apples and scarves with a chill that settled in the eves.
It used to be somebodies home when an old yellow dog sat on the porch and lifted his nose to the scent of change in the air, eventually wandering out to the pecan tree to stare up at a squirrel who no longer bothered to chide him.
It used to be somebodies home and an old man leaned against the front porch post in overalls fiddling with a tooth pick in his mouth, more for something to do than for necessity.
It used to be somebodies home but the paint was already starting to peel even as the squirrels watched while they buried the yellow dog beneath the old pecan tree patting down the earth just as night fell, then walking back into the house slowly, dirty and tired.
It was still somebodies home when they all moved away and the old man died, but people still drove by and remembered so and so who used to live there.