Build a barn you say?
First you need a field.
The deer know the best ones
where sweet grass grows
and the sun warms gentle slopes.
Where leafy trees offer afternoon shade
and moonlight coaxes fireflies
to weave their trails of light.
You need the dream of a barn
scrawled from your armchair
on the back of an old envelope
while the snow falls deep.
Your steps last August
measured out width and breadth
across the flat ground tucked into maples
the neighbor taps for syrup
You need the tower of pines
straight and true,
strengthened by seasons of growth.
Lumber for posts and beams and planks and frame.
Felled by the logger.
Shaped by the sawyer.
Righted by the builder.
A tree’s trade.
Life in the woods,
for a new one in the field-just down the road.
As a barn to stand the test of time.
You need the hands of neighbors
who bring their tools, their time,
their knowledge of how things fit-and how things work.
Knowledge from a lifetime of learning, not from ivy covered halls.
Knowledge that needs no signatured-paper to mark its worth.
Many hands, many shoulders, and much sweat
build a barn.
There are those who stop in the road.
“Whatcha building?” they say. “Oh, a barn?”
They reach into their memories of barns,
of sweet-scented hay,
and well-oiled leather.
They talk of July hayfields
the contented ache of young muscles,
the drip of sweat,
the prickle of the last bale tossed high
into a loft stacked to the rafters.
They remember laughter
and stories told
as the day gave up its heat,
and dust motes floated lazily in barn-filtered light.
Building a barn, you say?
When the last board is set,
the last nail hammered home,
you need the breath of a mare,
the swish of a tail,
the slow munch of hay.
You need a nicker in the morning when the doors are swung wide,
as the mare ambles into the dew-kissed field
where twin fawns yet sleep
near the barn.