A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Adelaide Shaw



There is an almost tangible sadness about abandoned buildings. Up here in the mid-Hudson Valley, one sees, in the midst of healthy farms and vibrant villages, far too many.

There is the old Bennett College for Women, closed since 1970 and left to the persistent attacks by nature with no counterattacks by man. Built in the Adirondack style of country lodges. Rough wood and stone. Rambling, with several porches and chimneys. Now, a crumbling ghost at the entrance to the village.

On a road, near a thriving dairy farm, are the remains of another farm. House, barn, stable, silo, hay rick and other out-buildings. Down to bare wood, with some shadowy hints of red and white paint. A rusting tractor with plow attached. Barren fields, mud soaked and weed thick.

An empty store front, Quality Antiques, missing the Q and the A, the other letters still faintly visible on the window.

A Victorian house, windows boarded, porch sagging, chimney bricks blown to the ground, a garden of stubble.

What happened to the people who once filled these buildings? Was it death, financial problems, poor health or simply bad luck that caused their departure?

new spring grass
growing each day
the dreams of youth

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