18. prompt: lost and found
As they walk the main street
of the old town, central Victoria
settling in to a late Spring,
they come to the Masonic Hall
closed for decades, the plate
missing from high on the gable
its shadow visible, in fact distinct.
A team of carpenters stop
to answer their questions.
Wherever possible, they keep
the old structure; only the pine floor
in the large room was full of borer,
the smaller room's floor still shines -
"beautiful hardwood" says the builder.
They are allowed to enter, explore.
And realise nothing of the past
conversations, names, rituals
remain. The secret men's business
is as if extinct. But wait: women
are coming, filling this place of lost
meaning with fabric and design.
They will create their beautiful quilts
stitching together with quarters
and machined thread the stories
that haven't yet been told, the missions
that went uncelebrated, the work
and the worlds of understanding
unspoken while the men met.