The house sat sideways to the road.  The front door greeted the woods as if it missed something, turned the wrong way while the rest of the world went on about its business, the broad, cedar-shingled side of the house facing them like a turned shoulder.  Long lane, deep ruts.  A high-pitched roof sloped down to a porch.  Was that ivy growing out of the upstairs window?  Broken panes?  Broken shingles swinging by one nail?  Closer now, bumping down the lane and holding onto the door handle of the truck so as not to lose her balance she saw shingles were missing from the roof, the chimneys on either side of the peak leaned toward each other, the doweled screen door hung by one hinge and thudded gently in the breeze.  The house was a ship abandoned in the reeds.  It was darkness, musty old darkness, all dark brown moldy wood, dried out timber, wormed, termited, splintered, composting into the earth again.  She  saw they’d be turned away from the main course of life here, thrown to the wayside.  They’d be worn down by the elements and distance, struggling to find out what they were made of.  For there was no doubt he would buy it.  He’d see the trees, the grape arbor, the clouds sailing by as he sat on the front porch steps and he’d dream of woods, the long immense fields, his hands in the soil, planting. 

                       from Requiem for a Summer Cottage.

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