The Barn

A Poem

 

Because I saw you once in an old forgotten barn,

on the edge of a wood

with tall grass growing wild in the foreground,

through the grainy lens of a Russian film

the dark light captured in a European vestige

that no one lives in

except the air that has been collecting cultures

for thousands of years

and leaving them quietly

to whisper in the moving grass.

 

I recognized you then

in the wooden architecture of a window frame

at dusk

the glass like melting sugar

over a small table with chairs

in an empty and darkening room

I could see in there,

in this demonstration of what isn’t visible,

the knowledge of a lover who maybe just didn’t exist

 

So then when we found each other

and were both neither old nor young,

I saw in your face what the wind was saying in the grass

And felt in our skin what the window reveals: that existence is timeless.

I saw why the barn had seemed full with nothing in it

and the tall grass was not lonely from having been abandoned

And I knew how to regard ourselves:

like passing histories

like the ones we both come from

which, once their players and deeds are gone,

still saturate the Earth and sky.

 

Jennifer Ammann. June 2015.