It's gone now--an old house that I stumbled across one Saturday morning out east of here. Abandoned farm places have a habit of disappearing rather quickly in Sioux County, where good capitalists with Dutch surnames know dang well the land is too valuable to give over to memories. But one doesn't have to go too far west or east to find them still scattered around the landscape, monuments some farmer folks just can't push themselves to bulldoze. I love 'em because there's something eerie about 'em, something, well, abandoned.
This one had a mousetrap mounted on the back door frame--probably a homemade "leave a message" sort of thing, and I have really no idea why the silly thing attracted me, or why the image sticks with me somehow, begging definition or revelation or something. There's no deeply embedded moral truth here in some farmer's nailing a mousetrap to the doorframe.
Perhaps it just speaks of a certain kind of departed neighborliness--after all, the place has no neighbors anymore. The place, in fact, is not a place. Today, it's snow. Six months from now, it'll be beans. Today, there is no mousetrap.
The fact is, I found it when there was no need to leave a note, the house long ago abandoned.
And now it's all gone--house and mousetrap too.
Sic transit gloria mundi? Ah, that's pushing it. It's just an old mousetrap.
I'm always thankful for mysteries, the little ones at least, the ones that won't depart.