The barn smelled of bird dung and dust—
of disuse, though stalls and loft
were stacked with lumber;
aluminum windows; hollow-core doors;
decaying furniture; lead ingots;
oxygen tubing; broken figurines;
an ancient, rusted typewriter;
endless hoarded items.
Pigeons and barn swallows
watched from the rafters.
All was spotted
with their dried splatter.
As a boy I often climbed to the loft
on a steep, open stairway,
loosed a hook from its eye-screw latch
and swung open a large, shuttering hatch
to the outside air. The sill
at floor level, I sat, legs dangling
over tall weeds. I inhabited
vast expanses: the tremulous
waiting world of waving leaves,
of birds in flight, of unseen animals
tracing through the far woods.
Then I would stand.
Close the window.
Readjust to darkness and dust.