Nov 21, 2021

Walking through that amber field
With noon­day sun cut­ting through
The September day,
I approached an old weath­er­beat­en
Barn perched amid sway­ing
Tassles of autumn grass.

The barn, with rust­ing met­al roof
And side­boards warped and bent
Cried of neglect
And the rav­ages of time.

Resisting the urge to run my fin­gers
Along the rivened boards,
To osmose their years,
To glean the sto­ries held there,
I glanced upon an old rusty nail
Bent and weath­ered by the years,
Driven too care­less­ly
Into the wood.
And left as a reminder
Of the day this struc­ture rose.

The nail pro­trud­ed proud­ly
As if in defi­ance
Of its mis­shapen coun­te­nance
And the decades of weath­er
Which tried in vain to wear it away.

Its shad­ow flowed gal­lant­ly
Down the length of the board
Holding it in eter­nal grasp
Half dis­gorged, half ensconced.

One day both nail and board
Will be gone, for­got­ten
As time and man take their toll
No more shad­ows, no remains
No mem­o­ries.
Just gone.

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.