A farmhouse on a hill next to leafless trees. It has a red chimney and a brown roof and white walls.

The clapboard farmhouse sat on a slight hill,
looking down the sloping rye fields to Old Creek.
It did not feel superior.
It simply liked the view and being close to its friends,
the trout catching gnats and naps in narrow stream,
deer chewing breakfast leaves,
the sheaves and stalking wheat,
brown earth and the fat red hawks
in the stoic stately trees.

They all rarely spoke, at least of trivial matters;
they left that to those running playing working
poor kids leaping in and out of doors,
windows, barns and years,
with their cornflower ears so full of sky.

But when things got thick or thin or push came to shove
with fire on the horizon or earth-quaking hands,
then the messages fairly flew through
the garter snakes, ponies and blackberry vines:
warnings and hopes and best-of-lucks.

That house may have been constructed rather than grown
but it once was living wood and mineral and buried stone
and felt in its deep bones when storms
gathered their misplaced angers.

Sitting the hill like a hen,
but finally fallen into the sift-dust of days,
it crumbled and said hello to the sun one last time.

The fingerling fish and gawker chicks forgave it
for going dark, losing sight and said: farewell old friend.
Farewell. The air.
The air will never be quite the same.


Photo by Warren LeMay, used and adapted under CC.