Barns in Charlevoix

1 May 2017

I like the barns, their air of constancy,
their un-renovated geometry, their wooden deshabille,
that they have high hipped roofs — and windows

set without regard to symmetry — that they are unpainted,
the wood grey or brown with age, with parts that lean in
or out, that some are abandoned but endure, that one

imagines the light inside — diffuse and murky
or the doors opening wide and a sudden shaft
of afternoon pouring like honey into dark tea

and the scent of hay and sweet apples on a high
shelf – the horse and cow smells fading,
old leather bridles, iron parts of farm machines,

sump oil, the ammonia of mice,
rough hessian sacks of chaff and bags
of chicken feed, that time here re-collects itself —

sleeps like Keat’s Autumn on the bales — and
does not wake but dreams of waisted frocks,
wide hips, foals, fiddles, harvest suppers.

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