Roadside Barns

We drove in a downward slope,
cats tonguing our winter coat with one long
lick around snowy roads.

Threaded between bramble, barns house the secret
narratives of animals setting forth on missions —
the tale of mice and mavericks.

These chalky, sedated skies spill like medicine,
when I lay hot with fever and mystery, to
when seasons held their breath,

releasing night into howl, curling lines
to show icy exhales, the strummed
language of plucked fruit and wild birds.

I viewed the dilapidated wood, crooked hinges,
birds nesting into high corners in a warm refuge
of twigs, my mind fighting off the hollow and chill,

holding onto the echo of turned pages from
children’s books, knowing country barns are
better viewed roadside.

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