2014-04-23

A Love Letter to Josiah Harmon, b.1927—d.1939
—a poem by F. John Sharp



There are those who have seen
your face in the upstairs window of
the crumbling barn, those who have
heard the whispers in the hayloft,
who have had boards thrown
at them by no one. There
are a hundred things that haunt a relic
like me, who wraps knobby
fingers around a tomorrow where
homesteads become nature
parks, and rangers show birders where
the herons nest, but not where
boys learned to wrestle in the sun
or sneak away for a smoke
in the barn, where the shift of
a ladder, a skull against hard packed
earth, took your body but left the revenant to
mock us as we picked up your chores, resent
us as we bathed in the light of day, call out
'who's there?' though surely you knew it was I
who should have checked the ladder. Or
forbade altogether the loft
which will soon be razed for a pavilion
with maps and doggie stations.
I wonder where you will go or if
you've already left, like all the Harmons
save one. And I wonder if you would ask me
one last time 'Who's there?' so I could say,
'Can you not see? It has always been us.'


___
The Poet: F. John Sharp lives and works in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He is fiction editor for Right Hand Pointing and you may find a selection of his published works at fjohnsharp.com.

The Artist: Daniel Ayles is a Portland, Oregon-based artist whose work bridges the gap between the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. If you are interested in exploring his body of work further, you can see examples of his art in the 2012 August issue of The Horror Zine. You may also view two collaborative pieces he did with Tiffany Luna in the 2012 November issue of The Horror Zine.

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