Poem – The Old Barn

This old barn 004

An old abandoned barn lies on the east side of town, at the end
of Baker’s road, where the tar abruptly changes to gravel, dusty this
time of year as rain has been scarce and the crops are wilting

coming up the driveway, a neglected John Deere
greets you with rust and smeared green paint, revealing the steel machine
underneath, a workhorse in the fields, taking stalk after stalk

from the earth, a bounty each year for the family with hopes
of selling a few bushels at the market on main street
that is the past now, rain has not visited, people have

not visited, a once lush yard, crunches beneath my feet
impending fire permeates the air, timber from the fence
I built last summer, blown apart by that storm, a tricycle

faded blue kids pool, half a tire, a 1938 Studebaker
– I would still like to restore – and a menagerie of
other things are carelessly strewn about near the for sale sign

I remember the winters spent cuddled in front of the potbelly stove
a wool blanket for one stretched to two
whose turn is it to fetch a few more logs, the flame is getting low

I miss those days, coffee from the French press
thick with crema and cream from the ranch
your silhouette in the kitchen through the fabric screen

a glass of wine, olive oil and teak mixing
an image back home of San Giovanni, I close my eyes
and see you picking olives, dressed in white

one last trip to the barn, the scent hangs in the air,
you may still be here, but I do not hear any voices
as the fire takes hold and ashes replace hay bales


* Photo by Twisted Root Studios

6 comments

  1. One of the best ways I’ve found to preserve a memory is to submerge it in poetry, then shelve it somewhere up high so that, when it’s needed, it can be called down again.
    Beautiful piece of work here! Regardless if the memory is true or a delicate fiction.

    1. Agreed. I use it quite often for real memories of my grandfather. Most of them I keep private, and reach for them when I am a bit lost, needing some direction, or just miss him.

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