Too Late

The jogger ran by the old homestead;
On its large, overgrown yard
Were kids running in the sprinkler.
She waved and thought someday
  -- someday she'd stop by
      and bring her kids

The golfer drove by the homestead;
On its wrapped-around porch and in its swing
Were families breaking bread.
He waved and thought someday
  -- someday he'd stop for awhile
      and bring the juice to drink.

The executive rushed by the quiet homestead;
At its opened, double doors
Stood couples, she and he, he and he, and she and she.
But he was juggling phone and wheel
  -- and didn't think to stop
      and come in.

The tired mom dreamed of the rambling homestead;
Inside its high arched windows
Could be seen folks standing and chatting.
She watched it from across a street
  -- and then awoke confused:
      where was she?

  the jogger, the golfer, the executive, and the tired mom
  came by the old homestead
  and its overgrown lawn,
    its porch and swing,
    its double door,
  and its arched windows,
  but the lawn was empty,
    and the swing was still,
    the doors were closed,
    and the windows shuttered.
One by one, they walked away ...

©2001, John A. Mills
Published in Voice of Reason; Poetry Today; Suzy Walton, ed ©2001, p. 125.