BARN HOUSE FIELD
By: Carol Pearce Bjorlie
I’m not sure I remember it right,
I was only a girl –
Did I care about cotton, tobacco,
beans and Big Boy tomatoes?
I cared about where the black snake
lived, where the barn spiders hung,
pump handle splinters,
and Dapple Gray, the mare
to the fence to take
carrots from my father’s hand.
I carry stories of the old house
slung over my shoulder like a comforter:
ancestors playing Chopin,
love letters composed behind lace curtains,
a library packed with leather bound Plutarch’s Lives,
Shakespeare, English Romance poets,
and the warning about rickety steps.
The broken red fields
where black snakes, corn snakes,
writhed in shallow rows
haunt me; call me: