My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

Somehow, I acquired a dead man’s interrupted life. 

His grey stone cottage, mid-forest. Books, a barn, blank stationery veined with mold. Curled edge photographs stacked like kindling in a dusty hope chest. They claim me.

A rusted horseshoe slumbered in the cook stove. I burnish it with wire, secure its resurrected luck with a trinity of nails above the threshold. His ashes, scattered within the orchard, coalesce.  Wonder.

The locals say he lived sad and died fierce.

Me, too. 

I lower onto our front porch stoop and caress its sun-warmed face. Yes love, I say, as he approaches.

Welcome home.

*****

(“Come Live With Me and Be My Love” was originally published in Sunspot Literary Journal.)

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