A flight of stairs

A flight of stairs


The Confederate Army is encamped on the stairs
bivouacked among family photos
soldiers press to the sides
as I pass with a bucket of wash water.
I don't see them
hiding in a passage that's fallen out of place.

I leave a faint trail
smoke-like filaments sloughing off
clinging to steps and walls
weaving a gossamer funnel of awareness
regressing to the top.

A thread becomes dislodged
an eye peeks out
and catches me perching there
tying a shoe.
I gaze around at this little glade
in starless twilight
beneath a canopy of familiarity.

Could it be that places like these
are where Tolkien's Elves have gotten away to?
Places gone to passages
Middle Earth hidden in plain view.