My dreams have so often mimicked the Goodhill Manor,
rearranging its ivy-caked walls and maze-like gardens
so that I may partake of its native fragrances and
explore its crevices without trespass.
As always, I find it across the river;
the river that guides many a lovers’ boat…
I come to the gate that drags long tails of ivy
when opened; yet it is already ajar.
Fountains of monumental girth greet me;
mossy, granite bowls teeming with lilies
that crowd against each other…
spilling upon themselves the dark opal water
whose bare, organic scent complements the floral perfumes
in a most unusual harmony.
Dwarfish bridges arch their backs over candid ponds
that, with a second look, appear to be peopled
with dragonflies and preening swans.
A gazebo crowned with a green marble clock
patiently monitors a Sunday slumber.
At the end of dawn’s cycle, the church on the hill
releases the children who come to play their games
midst the gothic statues that landmark the garden maze
near the cemetery reserved exclusively for kin where
careless footsteps sometimes spill…
The graves undertake their feet without dismay,
for notions of disrespect and blasphemy are excused
in the case of children.
From yard to den steady the nests
of spirits so calm and benevolent that
the residents may never know them;
their presence akin to pictures on the wall…
as belonging as the bees and birds of the garden
and as kind as the woman that would greet us at the door.
Such a graceful contradiction that an estate
may speak of death in a warm and innocent manner…
as though mention of the after-life were doubtless and pure.
When the butler shoos the children away
and the clouds of dream begin to thin,
I leave the Goodhill Manor to its grandfatherly laurels…
wondering what luck had left it in the care of its owners
and wondering what fortunate ghosts will become its rightful heirs.
© 2012 Brandon Gene Petit
- from Ab Antiquo, Ab Aeterno , Nov. 2010