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Barn Life

I miss the barn, the hay loft,
a place to listen to the midday sun
creaking through old wood.,
the small clouds of horse flies
moving as one in their jet-pack bodies,
that rose and fell
  their small engines stuttering.

The humpbacked skeleton of a tractor
where goats built their castles,
the oily emptiness of its heart
as it clanked under their hooves
  into a gearless life once more.

When the empty stalls echoed a warning
to the horses that no longer stabled there,
I would get up into the sagging rafters
where feather whiskered winds
  rustled dust through broken boards,

It used to take them an hour
before they knew I was missing,
  later they knew where to find me.

I miss the soul-deep smell
of dry leather tackle long unharnessed,
the empty cans of linseed and engine oil,
the old shotgun so rusted
it grew out of a dirt-caked bucket
  as brown as a whittled flower stalk.

All gone, the barn, the farm house
  and ‘they’ - gone now.

Yet sometimes they call to me
as I dream in a lullaby loft,
and I still a little disappointed
  to be found.

Copyright © Eric Ashford