Down A Long Road


We must find something forgotten by everyone alive

    William Stafford, "Watching The Jet Planes Dive"





And I remember the barn's side door

That no one ever used, the old mare's

Horseshow nailed over it for good luck

When hers had run out, the threshold

Stone cracked deep from countless winter

Heaves and spring thaws.  How each year

A little more moss covered the bottom,

Its warping and gapping from the frame,

And how the rain, always asking to enter,

Left its gray handprints on the old wood

As it weathered, red stains of hinge rust.

The wearing away of years until all that

Is left of us now is beautiful heartwood.




Poetry by countryfog
Read 1458 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2015-11-13 at 14:34

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Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
From 26 October to today, 27 Nov, we asked for the community to select their favorite poems/texts on PB, dated from 2005 to today. This text has been chosen to be featured on the home page of PoetBay. Thank you for posting it on our poetry website!

This is a pleasure to read, my friend :-)
My connection with farms is fairly slight, but I always feel a familiarity when I come across words such as 'barn' and 'horseshoe'. The first shed I knew had a horseshoe nailed over the door. I love the opening lines of this poem, leading to the gradual weathering 'gray handprints' is particularly interesting and I like the combination of this colour with the 'red stains of hinged rust' in the next line. For the final two lines, I feel a sense of an emerging character and an acceptance with this, as Dave notes. Applause from BirdBrains all (-:>)

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
I love the last line. It's a clincher. I hope the horseshoe was put up like a cup to catch the luck. That is what we were told to do. You describe it all so well, especially the aging and acceptance of the years. Nice.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is a fine poem, Fog. I'm curious about the final line:

(all that) Is left of us now is beautiful heartwood.

Is there a typo there, or are you suggesting that you have aged in the same way as that barn door?

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Introspective and haunting. I too have seen and felt these old portals but never described or rhapsodized upon them as you so elequently have here.

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
the once utilitarian structure becomes something abstract for those who choose to see it as such, something which represents time by looking back, imagining what's ahead. i wonder what sentiment those who used the barn would express.

this is an almost sensuous portrayal of an inanimate object, which as ashe pointed out, isn't inanimate at all.

i would think today's farmer planting vast acreages and reaping great yields would have absolutely no use for such a barn, and it may be a small miracle that it hasn't been plowed under.

we all need a horseshoe nailed over the door. especially today.

What strikes me as I read this beautiful and sentimental poem is that as something is forgotten by humans, it begins to be taken back by the tens of millions of microscopic organisms with which we share this planet, making this event a celebration rather than a sad memory. You describe this event in great detail to seem like a miracle of nature in the making. Well done.

Just as time and the elements alter the appearance of an old door, so does the passage of time and experience change us. Heartwood and the human heart.