Anyone who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in Richmond, Indiana knew about the two old abandoned Victorian homes at South 18th and Main. Traipsing through those echoing hallways with flashlights in hand at midnight was a popular endeavor back in those days. With Halloween quickly approaching in this, one of my favorite change of seasons, I’ve been reminiscing a little on the darker side – thoughts reverting to the ghosts we chased as adolescents……
Her rusting iron fence was foreboding,
its spear tops an omen to trespassers.
Unkempt green spilling ‘neath her lion’s paws
told tales of woeful abandonment.
A passerby might look and see,
with eyes full of mystery,
her frightful scale of three stories,
adorned with eerie accessories.
Gabled ends in anguished screams,
murderous throes, her ancient dreams.
Griffins rest ‘neath her pillared porch,
with eyes ablaze as though to scorch
the soul of he who crosses the gate
without pondering his unfortunate fate.
Double wide doors once warm with charm,
now scream of indescribable harm.
Across her roof a width of fence,
moonlit backdrop to her audience,
Oh, what howls there must have been,
before life neglected this dying thing.
Shadows upon shadow and bells at twelve
our spirited hearts endeavored to delve
inside of her anguished majesty.
As flashlights scoured her interior walls,
her grand staircases and spectacular halls,
my thoughts were only of travesty.
For as the others searched the elusive ghost,
thought to roam in our honored host
a most delicate beauty accosted mine eyes;
A wood trim carved by the most loving hand,
Chiseled wood mantles from a foreign land
and angelic newels hung up the rise.
Nothing of her frailty spoke of decay or death,
from amidst the dust she just needed a breath,
a neglected reprieve for sure.
So as my friends woefully filed out
knowing their chase brought nothing about,
I smiled a smile of love for her.
|One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted —
One need not be a House —
The Brain has Corridors — surpassing
Material Place —
– Emily Dickinson