A Childhood Place

I lie back in the upper mow

on age-mellowed wheat straw

autumn's aromatic and

warmly comfortable bedding

alone with the old barn

it speaks in tongues

varied but understood

each derived from dry rot

and shared yearning

with each of my hesitant

footsteps the floor

had creaked out a tale

of countless hooves

and the many wagonwheels that

crossed its younger planks

empty stalls below me

whisper of their desire

for the warmth and company

once offered by sleek guernseys

massive hand-hewn rafters

secured by wooden pegs long ago

used as a young boy's handholds

groan an old man's complaint

sag with the weight of moonbeams

falling through high small windows

I focus on three stars

spied through a hole in

the ruffled tin roof

carefully listening

as if to my father

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