Un-Abandoned Farmhouse

The chipped wood and architectural design says it’s an old wooden farmhouse. The eight empty boxes of Captain Crunch in the kitchen garbage say whoever lives here likes Captain Crunch. They do not say whoever lives here does not like Frosted Flakes and are correct not to say this, as when you open the worn cupboard door you find eight boxes of Frosted Flakes that say unmistakably whoever lives here does in fact like Frosted Flakes in addition to Captain Crunch. The rickety stairs say “creak” “creak” “creak” as you walk up to the second floor. The eight tiny beds say small children approximately the size of Gary Coleman in his prime sleep here together in this small room. The lack of adult-size beds in any of the other rooms upstairs say that the parents probably sleep on the sofa or could possibly be vampires who sleep in a coffin or crypt in the basement. You’ll have to wait for what the sofa and basement have to say about this. The sound of the door opening and voices downstairs say the residents have come home. The tiny dwarves in the kitchen say, “Who left the cupboard door open?” and then say, “Who the fuck are you?” when they see you. The racing thoughts in your head say, “Shit. Let’s get out of here!” and the quick movements of your legs and feet through the living room say, “We agree wholeheartedly.” The bullets shattering the windshield of your electric blue Dodge Neon say that the dwarves are armed and believe in using lethal force to keep unwanted intruders out of their farmhouse. Two miles up the road, your speedometer says your have driven two miles. Looking to your left, the chipped wood and architectural design says it’s an old wooden farmhouse. The voice from the back seat says, “Now see if it’s in there.”


after Ted Kooser’s “Abandoned Farmhouse”

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