Thursday, January 7, 2010

MY BARN by Dean Hughes

Look there!
It stands today
As strong as six-score memories years ago;
A big barn built to hold fat crops in its massive mows,
As provender to last the long rows of sleek cows,
In the stables underneath,
The long dark winter through.
Examine, if you will,
These giant plates and beams,
These stalwart loins and limbs and thighs.
Each one was once upon a splendid time
A giant pine
Singing a hundred feet towards the skies,
Then topped to sixty feet of needed length,
Hewed from the round to fourteen inches square.
See there!
The marks of hewing axe and adze,
Swung straight and true.
Read there the tale
Of toil and sweat and a fine pride
In shaping these great timbers.
Stand with me
A wondrous moment.
In that crafted tree
Is history enough of old great-grandsire times
A century ago and more.
Those sheathing boards,
Those tenons, mortices and dowels,
Those thews and sinews,
Those mitres beveled true,
Fitted in tight embrace to fight the winds
And the strong side-thrust of the sheaves and hay.
There stands my barn!
Monument to the past!
Feast for the present!
Song for the future!

Arthur, Eric, and Dudley Witney. The Barn: A Vanishing Landmark in North America. Canada: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1972. Print.

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