By Kylie Sneller 

Deep within the Northern woods,
the journey should you make,
beneath the cover of tall oak trees
sits a cottage beside a lake.

A stone fireplace upon one wall,
on the mantle rest empty picture frames.
Whoever once walked those halls,
no one remembers their names.

Evidence of them lies all around
in half-finished board games and bookmarked pages.
A graveyard of relics from the past
collected throughout the ages.

On top of the stove sits an empty pot —
food is long overdue.
Places are set at each table spot
no dinner to ensue.

Upstairs is a child’s bedroom,
filled with toys and books galore.
Now resembling a sort of tomb,
for a child sleeps there no more.

Outside is a boat submerged beneath the waves
in the water next to a rotting dock.
Doomed to an eternity of a watery grave,
at the mercy of Mother Nature’s clock.

The coat hooks are empty beside the door,
either taken or never there.
No shoes lay scattered on the floor,
only a faded rug it bears.

The one clue that was left behind,
to tell of adventures through the years,
in the nightstand drawer confined
a tattered journal stained with tears.

Stories of laughter, loss, and love,
written in a careful hand.
All that the author ever dreamed of,
and all that they had planned.

Who they were and why they left,
perhaps we will never know.
But it seems that wherever they went,
they just decided to go.

Yes, the cottage by the lake sits vacant,
haunted by what might have been.
Forever to be the confidante
of whatever happened within.

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