Old Barn

I grew up on a farm, with a big white barn. We had a pole barn, later. But the center point of our property was the glorious, old monstrosity. It was exactly what a barn should be–dusty and full of odd shaped rooms. The floor was concrete…or stone. Something hard and pitted, but so filthy that it was unrecognizable. We didn’t raise livestock or horses, much to my childhood dismay. Just several farm cats and dogs. But the barn raised my sisters and I, and housed our many adventures–and before that, it raised my dad and his siblings. There was even a painted basketball court in one of the upper lofts.

That barn is gone now, torn down after we sold the property and my parents moved in town. Every time I drive past there, the yard just looks empty. But the memory will always be there of the old white barn on our old homestead.

Old Barn

Where hay was stored,
there are birds
now in the
ancient straw.
They come and go
through lost boards.
Lights of sky
break the chorus
of dark.
The rains come,
puddles pool
for baths
to cleanse
dusty feathers.
They fly in and out
of this place.
They have waited,
knowing it has
always belonged
just to them.

–Jim Gustafson, Driving Home

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