A bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer, M. Stone finds inspiration in the day-to-day
while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Abandoned House, Still Breathing

Visible from the turnpike

it is a stoic face marked
with peeling paint flesh
and black teeth windows

Halfhearted winds thieve
another roof shingle,

pluck at mildewed sheets
on the unstripped bed

During last summer's
flood, river trout washed

into the basement and
rotted down to bones

The smell of decay
now replaced by damp

as stalagmites bloom
in rusted copper pipes

and canned goods
swell to bursting
on the back porch

The Drive Home

Quarter till five
and the cloud-riddled
sky is the underside
of a mockingbird wing

Day lilies sprout
by the highway,
tangerine beacons
suffering whiplash
from passing traffic

A single streetlight
snaps on, confused
by the sudden gloom

while its brethren
remain darkened,
biding their time

Poaching History

I never found
that street-length
gown of brocade

no white carnations
soiled by coal dust

no veil stirred
by a hacking black

so I settled for

a pawned class ring
set with synthetic

antique jet
mourning beads

and a worry stone
etched with the words

"all will be well"

An Unsentimental Family

Few mementoes from my
childhood remain. No baby
shoes or first lock of hair

No milk teeth with blood-
stained roots. My earliest

poems and stories now rot
in a landfill

The pictures preserved
in cheap albums have faded,
rendering me a ghost

Yet my father saved
a Radio Flyer wagon

the one he sat me in
so he could race me around
the yard as I dissolved

into delighted, half-terrified

Today the wagon is rusted,
of no use to him, tucked
away in a shed corner

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