For Sarah’s dverse prompt. An object held in the hand and discovered. I hope a haibun counts.
They were precious then, nails, handmade each one, each head unique, each with a story. Used and reused, prised out carefully from this beam, hammered into that door. Flat sided, bent at the end, this one, but intact. Rusty now with age—it’s damp up there with only hay above and scampering dormice. We’ve kept them all as we’ve taken them out carefully from beams where they held up strings of onions, garlic, flitches of ham. Time moves on, like woodworm and modern ideas of interior lighting, the need for clarity and paint, not so much for flitches of ham. But we’ve not thrown them away. Respect perhaps, and unwillingness to be the first to throw away a thing of such value. I roll this piece of domestic history between finger and thumb, feeling the weight of centuries of stone and wooden beams in the flaking orange dust and wonder will I leave such a mark on this house?
Iron tacked in wood
keeps the otherworld at bay
these end of year nights.