imageRay Templeton

Not like that. More the way it works in stories,
but now it was the scarecrow searching for a heart.

'Your passport to heaven,' someone said. But no, call it
fulfilment of a pledge, a way to keep some sacred trust.

So, walk up from the road — tangled roses, unkempt paths,
lawns gone to seed, herb garden overgrown. Knuckles

on the door and cautious entry, to the sudden scent
of — vinegar and lilac? Maybe. Even pencil marks

under an eraser leave a trace. No need to dress this up:
I'm caught, like the fossil we found on the shore one year,

life's shadow in blue-grey stone. Caught by a promise,
not made in my words, but in someone else's echo.