by Daniel Hess

Driving slowly by, I saw the desolation,
wished I were Andrew Wyeth,
or possessed the imagination
to see the essential prose,
the story, nay, the spirit that sigheth
to inhabit this place. Who knows?

Can these bones live? See weathered
paint, dust-blunted lines, the yard
is rutted and dry. A few, un-gathered
shards of meaning lurk about
the premises, yet the pulse is hard
to find, the riddle stout

with loss, but empty of grief.
A lone cottonwood stands
in back, barren of life and leaf,
no scrabbling squirrel to break the spell.
The windows are boarded, but bands
of connection have dissolved well,

or once were left in the lurch.
The sign reads: Fargo Community Church.

Daniel Hess lives with his wife and six children in a small German Baptist community in Idaho.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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