All Stories, General Fiction, Historical

Flashing Mirrors at a House Built in 1742 by Tom Sheehan

I leaned against the largest maple tree, planted hungry years before upon a leech trench in my back yard, watching my going out of me at play and shining the souls of mirrors back, telling each other what we knew.

I loved him from the tree, later a window dark-squared above the wide grass, as I leaned toward his hands moving out of himself, making; and the corners of the house, the inners and outers hammered upwards from my hand in late repair.

What I had made smiled back at me, my son, fixed house, our piece of the morning sky, a whole particle of one man and all the gear he needs to spread himself without torture past himself, loving downhill all the way, every foot of the way and all that touched us on the passing edges, whatever name they might have been given back in the flow of our histories.

Framed in sunlight, booted, buckled, hand-knit into his denim clothes, jacket thrust into pants into belt into wind searching him for a post of entry, he flashed my love on the air.

The semaphore in sunlight flew past me at the cold glass, a hot javelin breaking at the crystal brow I wore filling the house behind me. In the wide fields of its rooms, filled with shadows of other times, sounds frightened the walls as if they could not contain another cry.

Others here. One smaller than the yard boy, lighter in the face, athletic so young, a stair-leaper, floor-bender, such even the sills on granite know each pounce of his weight. (Often, I pray the wood coming back to him in the recoil of life is not carved into a rifle butt.)

He flashes through plaster, laths, the skin preserving my pounding heart, through eyes, miles and miles of nerves, into my knowing.

And her of October’s cheeks, arms spider-webbing, silken clutches of a mastery I dare not understand. In the high walls of my heart she hides, a game’s chase, a seeking son do not employ, pushing a love up at me the passing of blood has given her.

Her mirror changes, goes opaque, becomes neon, shows me wide-eyed, wondering, a quiet man not quite ready for her smile.

On talking boards, nails slipped from silence by weights of my loves I step across graves of other houses here, where a father stood loving at a window, died, and left his words hanging, hard handles on them, for my grasping.

“Look now, listen,” I say, “I was never lonely here. I gave voice to these rooms, left visions of touch for your skin. We promise always to sound again, spilling years, loves, leaves of days, a cry now and then between dark of days punching out daylight to let you know we passed through minutes ago one year.”

I reach, say into years of darkness, “This time is mine. I will come again and stand here by the window, letting the mirrors talk. Oh, pray for the listening.”

Tom Sheehan

Image by pieonane from Pixabay 

5 thoughts on “Flashing Mirrors at a House Built in 1742 by Tom Sheehan”

  1. Tom–
    The only thing wrong here is my inability to come up with adequate praise for this grand tapestry made from threads of the past and now. It’s a beautiful thing.


  2. Oh my word, this is so good! A beautiful prose poem that lays down images that stick and resonate – words as ‘hard handles’ to hang on to, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We see Tom’s stories on LS, but I believe he’s also an award-winning poetic. Occasionally (often?) we benefit from his poetic side appearing in his prose. This is a great example.


  4. As others have said this is stunningly poetic. So many beautiful phrases to be picked out. The first one of many for me was ‘planted hungry years before’ – just in those four words alone you’ve got so much going on – great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Tom,
    I really can’t add to anything that has already been said.
    Poetic writing, history and respect are what you are all about!
    All the very best my fine friend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.