That Old Barn

     Here is one of the (few) new poems that has emerged from this once fertile, but now seemingly barren, imagination of mine. I will tell you up-front that it is all fiction as I have not a particular attachment, to any particular barn, in any particular way. Though I will say that living here in New England I have been privileged to witnessing structures that are still standing, and many still functioning, from the earliest of times in our nation’s history. But it’s true that there are some, like the “Old Barn” in this poem that have now fallen to disrepair and are now but memories of an earlier and hopefully happier time.

     I hope you will read it with some nostalgic pleasure,


The Old Red Barn

Memories of a simpler time

That Old Barn

That old, once berry-red barn,

has been scourged over time

by the whips of the wind and the rain.

Once standing as the symbol

of a flourishing farm,

reduced now, to a skeletal frame.


The rafters, the walls and the floors

like the bones of the farmer himself,

are now sagging from too many days.

Under the burden of the weight,

like its lofts had before,

from the bales of the harvested hays.


And now gone is the equine, the bovine and hog,

and the hay, turned to straw,

blown away.

Gone too are the dreams,

as gone, as the dog.

But still, the old memories stay.


 You see, it’s more to me than a barn,

or a structure crumbling

out of lack of repair.

It is a reminder of a time long ago

of summers, golden and warm,

and where I now visit my youth, in there.


Jack Downing

May 2013

Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD 6/12/13


About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Americana, cow, dog, Earth and Us, environment, history, joy and sorrow, life, old days, scarecrow and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to That Old Barn

  1. Beth Ann says:

    I adore this one!!! It reminds me of summers at my Grandma and Grandpa’s farm and playing in the barn and corn crib and picking berries and all that fun stuff!!! Gonna share this one, Jake! And I hope your comment thingy is fixed!!!!

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Jack!
    Miss you. This reminds me of four barns of which I have memories.

    Barn # 1 was next door at the O’Briens. They had a rope swing inside which I fell off, landed on my back and ran home to my mother. I was making terrible loud gasping noises and my mother, thinking I was choking , started banging me on the back! Ouch.

    Barn # 2 was at my best friend’s house a few doors down and her mother decided to tear it down and sell the rubble for fill or wood. We ( 3 girls, 1 boy and 1 mother) tore down a two story barn from the roof to the dirt floor. We needed to put the bricks in one pile; boards in another; then nails, glass,shingles, etc. It only took us about two weeks. She sold it all.

    Barn #3 was at my aunt’s house in Billerica. My cousins and I used to play hide and seek in the most dangerous places. Usually lying on the rafters on the second floor!

    Barn # 4 was the best because there were no injuries, no labor and no hide and seek. It was the venue for my eldest niece’s wedding. Sunset happened thru the barn doors and pics were sweet.

    • Great to hear from you again Mary. Hmm I seem to remember a story of the hay bales or something to that effect. I may be wrong.. I’m glad though that this poem has sparked so much nostalgia. Keep in touch though will ya?

  3. Mary says:

    will do

  4. adeeyoyo says:

    I don’t have any memories like that, but I really wish I did…

    • Well Denise, like I said it is pure fiction except for the short time I lived in Vermont and we met some people from Massachusetts who had bought a farm up there and we helped them one afternoon with the hay,, all I remember is hay fever runny nose itchy eyes and sweat.. Not exactly fond memories, but any bit of experience, your own or someone else’s, can trigger a poem or story, as you well know. Thanks for the comment and the read.. Jake.

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