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May 29, 2023

Long Homestead in Winter

By Julian O. Long

Long Homestead in Winter
-- Las Cruces, circa 1932

Not in any literal sense
a homestead: it was purchased
you learned from an old deed
sent you by a cousin. And in this
winter photo, strange with magic
of the never seen, a study in
whites and grays, foreground
trees and background barn shading
towards true black, porch windows
canvas covered against the cold,
original adobe brooding behind, just
one slender strand of air, smokey
warm you guess, rising from a single
flue suggests habitation, warmth
inside. No one living knows
its history now, when the barn
was built; porch facing pristine snow
now fades into surrounding silence. What
was the day like when someone, your
father perhaps, had hiked out the
back door around towards the railroad
track to capture the snow before it turned
to mud underfoot; foot sodden you suspect
later that morning when indoor
voices might have called to breakfast,
but leave your boots outside. All
gone wherever memories are stored --
you never saw the place in winter
but you slept many a summer night there
on that porch already mythical, heard the Santa Fe
hoot by, carry the present away.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-01-17
1 Reader Comments
07:03:56 AM
One slender strand of air.. one of my favorite lines in this nostalgic poem . .. ????????
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