From within the peripheral view of their shadows and this haunting resilience that …hides their ghosts, New England estates… the… deep New England… estates… quietly persevere without anyone.
Without summer people.
It is the DURING… of a stroll… upon the street… of a ‘that village’ (a Salem, Woodstock or Thomaston), by the ‘that old home not noticed’, fronting the street where the focused eye focused forward… catches by peripheral… the fall-back of the …old and age tone browned limp lace curtain on… a second or third or …fourth floor… ‘not noticed before’ (‘I’) ‘a window there’ that IS …as this curtain falls back leaving only its tiny ‘breeze?’ of a wiggle… for the forward focused eye… this…; the peripheral view of their shadows… watching… you.
Or my eye.
A well trained eye.
I look up these mighty oaks …before me… and seen only in the corners of my eyes… to see ever scattering branches …before their… heaven? I see the faint white hand that drops the curtain ‘fall-back’? I meet her at the back door of her attic to kiss? I ponder the rooms upon floors of old browned curtains that do NOT resist dust, amplify the slight scurry and leave images on their floors of a once ‘was there’? I see the curtain’s fall-back and its white hand vanish?
Is it Sophia’s hand? Or is old Rufus’?
Or is it Mr. Simon’s hand… that drops the curtain back.
For I to see?
While all others …wander on… without… An old window’s curtain sends me a signal from an ‘old sea captain’s estate’… now closed up and over grown… within its community; ‘the village’
I am the one my grandmother “show you”.
Not summer people.
It is not ghosts in these shadows but LIVING air that enriches my nostrils as I climb to an “up there too?” of the fourth floor with its door to the widow’s watch. “THERE SHE IS”; “THAT GHOST” in black dress looking pointlessly forever …to sea. HE DROWNED AT SEA. The latch on the door has fastened her …IN.
“Steps?” I hear?
“You do not hear that?” “HER BREATH?” “How can you NOT hear THAT?”
YOU (I) have just looked in her dresser drawer. Too. SHE HEARS YOU. Seeking.
Pointlessly poking her things on the floors below she stares
It took me fifty years to learn this? Hardly. But it has taken me the whole fifty and WILL TAKE ME LONGER… to feel… the fathom …of this power beyond I and it’s…
Out living I. As it outlived them. I will join them in the evening breeze before the home and before the stroll to ‘I too’ to drop the curtains to ‘fall-back’ to there admit another to ‘climb to an up there too?’ to find that door and that the ‘latch on the door has fastened’ ME in. Too.
In the spring of 2012, the summer people heirs, a mix of three and four generations of summer people who were ‘have place’ spawn of Mr. Simon and his summer place… began to inform the village that they were ‘going to sell’ “their” ‘summer place’. I didn’t see the old curtain on the fourth floor window ‘fall-back’ at first. But then I did.