Loren Eiseley

For a Lost Home

From Prairie Schooner

The stars will be closer
Above it now
That we are gone
And the rusty plow

Will rest more quietly
In the dark
Furrows of a field
Grown stark.

For sage will spring
As sweet from dust
When wells go dry
And fences rust

And sage and thistle
And tumbleweed
Are blowing nearer.
They do not heed

The weathered house
And swinging door,
Sun-warped roof
And windswept floor,

Where the home we knew
Is beginning slow
To go the way
Men’s acres go.

This is the end
Of property pride
Yet not the end
Of a door flung wide…

For this is our quaint
Immortality:
To be remembered
For the free

Gifts of the hand
To desert mice
Who will miss us, hopping…
Miss the nice

Cookies something
Human fed
On the worn doorstep
In the evening’s red.

These will sniff
For a human finger
At a door where only
Dark will linger.

Reprinted from Prairie Schooner Vol III No 4 (Fall 1929) by permission of University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1929 by the Wordsmiths of Sigma Upsilon.