It sits beside a lonely track

That winds its way, under blossom trees

Toward remembered places

But this, this is long forgotten

Tiles on the roof cracked and falling

Stone walls askew

Wooden door leaning from its hinges

Thickets half grown over

On their way to reclaiming the cottage

For nature

Ease open the sagging doorway and go in

A flurry of wings as birds startle

Vacating their nests in the beams at the sudden intrusion

The stone floor is dusty, the tiles cracked

Cobwebs drape like curtains from window frames and mantels

The fireplace is black with age-old soot

A battered iron skillet hangs, forgotten and rusting, from a nail

An old mattress, moth-eaten and mildewed, flops on what remains of a wooden bed

And a dirty, dusty doll sits lonely in a corner

Button eyes regarding the remains of the past

Turn away from this sad and lonely remnant

This place that is not even a memory

But a shadow only of what once was

Take the track once more, under the blossom trees

And find the way back to where memories are still made.

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