(9/10/54 / Richland Center, Wisconsin)

The Ol' Barn

There was a barn once painted red
which stood on grandpa's old homestead –
and built so very long ago,
a sorry sight - I told him so.

As a boy I often wondered
why it hadn't ever timbered.
I heard the sagging rafters yawn
with half its several shingles gone.

I stepped in (the barn doors missing) -
found it home for sparrows singing.
Though the birds flew around freely
the floors were filled in man's debris.

No matter which way I'd be glancing
dust in sunlight rays were dancing.
Warning cobwebs seemed to sketch -
between the timbers they would stretch.

Foundation laid in cobblestone
but its sure footing wasn't known.
Between some stones were gaping cracks
that could not hide the basic facts.

Every post in building leaning,
wall to wall had needed cleaning.
Winter winds would whistle through.
That big ol' barn had lost, I knew.

Its sole purpose couldn't render -
so it offered full surrender.
Weather's sin had taken toll
and wind and sleet had found its soul.

That ol' barn is much like us
and in our need we make a fuss.
Our sagging souls are so uncouth
that we no longer seek the truth.

Deceit flies in our open door
and we care little anymore.
We’d rather compromise instead
as cobwebs fill our empty head.

Our minds are filled with sins' debris
with anyone whom we agree.
The love is lost between our bones
and leaves us cold, loosened stones.

Will our convictions stand together
or now yield to stormy weather?
Are we responsible inside
or has our character also died?

Over these years the time has lapsed
and long ago that barn collapsed.
I stand and look at its demise,
listening to the worlds last cries.

©2008 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
www.ganderpoems.org

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