The Returner I

He set his load down
Outside the door,
All the packets & the parcels,
And he knocked: his life held in his knuckle,
Hand clenched
White fist
All curled there in his palm -
But the echo reached the roof,
Sped up the chimney space,
And no-one came.
No foot crossed the hall,
No greeting voice replied,
He waited - tried again -
But the knock
Echoed in the roof,
Sped up the chimney space
And no-one came.
All were gone, 
And tell-tale slates had made spaces
In the grass.
And the world was vast and careless and he
Felt it press his back,
And the lack before
His face turned him back 
But he couldn't face
The fists behind, the tasks
He stared down
At the piles of goods,
His life's wares,
His hopes and fears all tied
In a sack he'd carried
On his back for years.
No use no use -
All the time he'd spent
In the gathering
Was waste and void,
All purpose nullified,
And slumped on the overgrown
Lawn, he cried.
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