The Memory of Barns

It settles comfortably into the field, sides spraddled and roof bowed.

There are wife gaps in its siding and the door closes crookedly.

Its age shows.

Weeds sprout and cover the windows

that once let in the early morning light for milking;

the cows are gone, the farmer too, and what hay remains

is rank with mold and dust.


The barn remembers better days

when the cows ambled in at dusk for their sweet feed

and the farmers pitched down hay from the mow.

Pigs rooted in their trough, grunting with pleasure to find

a stray bit of grain or perhaps a bit of potato peel;

horses stamped in their stalls, nuzzling feedbags

and their harness hung neatly, oiled and mended,

on the rough oak walls.

The barn remembers the children

who swung on ropes, played hide-and-seek

in the horses’ stalls, helped pitch hay into the mow

and milked the cows with their heads nestled into the cows’ sides,

the pungent smell of manure mixing with steam from the milking pail.


The barn shudders, sighs, and settles more firmly into the earth;

tomorrow men will come with trucks, saws, chains, and other tools.

By evening, the barn will be no more than a pile of smoking rubbish,

all the good wood carried off to be used as paneling for upscale homes

in some distant city where the memory of barns

has faded into books of history

that stand dusty on library shelves.


About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
This entry was posted in A River of Stones, aros. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Memory of Barns

  1. Sherrell says:

    What a great poem Suzanna! I am there every step.

  2. Love, Love this poem. I wrote one similiar to it and posted it awhile back. This is so true and so much history in barns and old houses.

  3. grannysu says:

    Thank you, Sherrell, I saw so many yesterday while on the road, it just reinforced how I felt when I wrote this poem.

    Susie, I will go to your blog and see if I can find your poem.

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