The old barn remembers
when it knew the comings
and goings of all the farm animals,
the smell of wet hay under the cow's feet
and the mews of the cat
wanting warm milk,
the steam from the horse's soft nostrils
on cold winter mornings
and in summer the laughter
of children moving hay bales
in the mow to make a maze,
in later years, the smell
of diesel and oil mixed with dirt
around the truck and tractor,
the sound the skip-loader made
as it mucked out the pigs' pens,
or the scurrying of mouse feet
racing from the silo with discarded corn.
Abandoned now, the roof sags,
the wood has weathered gray,
dust motes float in the sun rays
slipping through the chinking,
the metal door hinges squeak needing oil.
The barn doesn't know
how much longer he'll be able
to stand it. He's waiting,
once more to hear the soft words
of lovers meeting in the mow.
There is only the echo of memory
to keep him company.Today's poem was written for Jane Yolen who shared a poem about a barn this week. She didn't have hay in her poem and I commented on that. She responded, it had been a long time since hay was made in her barn. I suggested she needed to write a poem from the barn's point of view and Jane said that was my poem to write. So I did.
Your challenge for today is to take an object and write your poem from the viewpoint of the object. Have fun writing.
The Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted this week by Margaret Simon on her blog Reflections on the Teche. Thanks, Margaret for organizing us this week.
Writing a children's poem is like dropping a pebble into a pond, you never know how far the ripples will go.
Glad you took up Jane's challenge, Joy - you've evoked many strong images and feelings there.ReplyDelete
"dust motes float in the sun rays/slipping through the chinking" - what a great couple of lines. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Robyn. Hope you are having a great summer. We hit 100 degrees today.Delete
Beautifully done, Joy! Great images and sensory details. I felt like I was right there. :)ReplyDelete
Jama, were you ever in a barn in Hawaii? My mom grew up on a farm in Iowa, the youngest of 10. When I'd go to the farm to visit, I'd put on rubber boots and do all the things a farm needs.Delete
Wonderful. I'm so glad you included those 'dust motes'. Some may think it's not true, but it certainly is. My experience in a barn are lovely memories. Thanks, Joy.ReplyDelete
Yes, Linda. Watching the dust motes always made me think of magical fairy dust. Where was your barn?Delete
Nicely done, Joy! I like all those concrete details.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Tabatha. And did you count all the senses?Delete
Beautiful, Joy! I know barns like this. You've captured the old barn's memories so well. This would be a fabulous poem for some artist to illustrate.ReplyDelete
Hey, Violet. I must admit I kept thinking of Donald Hall's THE OXCART MAN, when I was considering how to put this poem together.Delete
Wow. Just wow. This is so good. It evokes so many memories for me of my great-uncle's old barn. Thanks for writing it and for sharing it here. I'd be sending this one out if I were you.ReplyDelete
Rosi, where was your great-uncle's barn? This poem still needs some polishing, but when it is ready, I'll try to find a home for it. I'm working toward a picture book, but it may be too quiet for that.Delete
We used to spend our summers in central Wisconsin in an old one-room schoolhouse my parents bought. a quarter mile up the road one way was Uncle Matt and a quarter mile the other way was Uncle Oscar. Both had wonderful old barns. I sent the link for this to my sisters and they enjoyed your poem as well. I could see this in a literary journal. There are plenty of them out there and a lot of them have contests that pay pretty well. Good luck with it. I just love it.Delete
Oh wow! I envy you being able to spend summers in an old school house. The stories you must have to tell about that. Uncle Oscar and Uncle Matt are real characters in my imagination. What a rich childhood!Delete
This is a barn that clearly has a heart, Joy – I'm glad you decided it needed a voice too.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michelle. What a great comment.Delete
Love all the sensory images and the thoughts and memories of the barn!ReplyDelete
As my friend Ellen Johnston-Hale used to say, "It isn't about the rabbits; it's about details." I do try to put good details into my poems.Delete
You took Jane's challenge and went with it. So sweet of you to dedicate this one to her. I loved the barn personified.
Ah, thanks Linda. She was the one that got me to thinking about personifying the barn so she deserves the credit.Delete