Lee Clark Zumpe
That unoccupied domicile abides,
its once verdant lot much diminished
by ever-widening thoroughfares.
Withered flora settles in a neglected garden,
overzealous weeds constitute a jungle
that conceals the narrow sidewalk.
Within, perhaps hints of former lodgers –
absent so long neighbors cannot name them –
linger in secret recesses:
the spatter of stewing sauces,
the scent of aftershave,
the echoes of children’s laughter.
And in the fusty shadows
of its moribund years,
tears, sweat, and anguish:
the hush of joyless holidays,
the tumult of escalating quarrels,
the desperation of eviction.
Slowly, vacancy takes a toll,
negligence undermines its foundations,
time and weather wear away its usefulness.
About the Author
Lee Clark Zumpe, an entertainment editor with Tampa Bay Newspapers, earned his bachelor’s in English at the University of South Florida. He began writing poetry and fiction in the early 1990s. His work has regularly appeared in a variety of literary journals and genre magazines over the last two decades. Publication credits include Tiferet, Zillah, The Ugly Tree, Modern Drunkard Magazine, Red Owl, Jones Av., Main Street Rag, Space & Time, Mythic Delirium, and Weird Tales. Lee lives on the west coast of Florida with his wife and daughter. Visit www.leeclarkzumpe.com.