Down the track from the new grain store
with its corrugated metal roof
and roaring dryers, past where concrete
runs out and tractor ruts resume,
there’s been a barn since the year dot.

But with pantiles missing and tiebeams
propped by jacks, it’s turned into
a roost for pigeons, a nook for cats
and a final resting-place for junk,
worn-out fridges, cookers,
lorry tyres stacked in one corner,
empty five-litre paint cans in another
and the skeleton of a wagon
shire horses were hauling to work
when the men who first raised
the barn, hand-cut the clean timber
and set it in place, were in their prime.

He stops by the field-gate for a breather
and to think:  the wind’s losing
its edge, summer’s on the way at last,
rosebay and nettles taking over
for a while, camouflaging the obvious.

Ken Head

If you have any comments on this poem, Ken Head would be pleased to hear from you.