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Friday, October 29, 2010

Poem of the Week--The Names In The Barn--Luke Wallin

Welcome to the second week of our Poem of the Week feature! Which, the name may soon be changing, check that out soon. But anyway, here we are, and phew, what a week! Enjoy "The Names In The Barn", by Luke Wallin, a quiet, crisp piece. And tune in next never know what you might find!

The Names in the Barn

The afternoon is still, the last car gone slowly up the gravel drive. That sound, of the tires turning over on rocks, of people leaving me alone, lingers. With the heat comes movement in the rafters, soft cracks as the timber shifts. I stand in the old barn and listen to it breathe; the roof pops in the unmerciful sun.

There on the wall, the boy’s chisel marks remain, recording his first crush. From the last stall, the clumsy bang of a hoof against boards, as his horse makes hunger known. I can barely lift the grain.

This is my barn now, my horse, my farm.

The cat follows too closely, mewing loudly for food and attention. “Shut up, Mister Cat. That’s your new name. Do you like it?

“For the rest of your damn life.”

The horse munches loudly. I smell his sweat; fat green flies rise and settle on his ears as they flick. His tail swishes without real hope.


I drop the empty bucket. A life sentence for Mr. Cat? Or shall I let them keep their names, each one like a picture of the day he named them?

What will it be for me, from now on?

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