Old Barn

By Vance Oliphant

Just down the road... around the bend,
Stands an old empty barn; nearing the end.

It has sheltered no animals for many years;
No dairy cows, no horses, no sheep, no steers.

The neigh of a horse; the low of a cow;
Those sounds have been absent for some time now.

There was a time when the loft was full of hay,
And the resounding echoes of children at play.

At one time the paint was a bold shade of red;
Gradually faded by weather and the sun overhead.

The doors swing in the wind... the hinges are loose,
Windows and siding have taken a lot of abuse.

The fork, rope and pulleys lifted hay to the mow,
A task that always brought sweat to the brow.

But those good days are gone; forever it seems,
And that old barn now stands with sagging beams.

It is now home to pigeons, rats and mice;
The interior is tattered and doesn't look very nice.

Old, abandoned barns have become a trend,
Just down the road... around the bend.

Vance Oliphant, Cedar Rapids, IA: "I am 75 years old and find it heartbreaking to see what were once vibrant, well-kept barns, slowly falling into ruin. I have tried to put my feelings into verse."

Reprinted by permission of the Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine, Spring 2001, Nevada, IA 50201.