#111 My Barn


#111 My Barn

2007 – 13 x 18 edition of 22 – $350
A barn, a tractor, a few horses, some good friends.
What more could have a 22 year old guy asked for.
And then I met you.

The Mouse that Broke the Camel’s Back

We claimed we were getting
back to nature, someplace
we’d barely been before.

For me, a half-a-block of woods
across the street,
an uncle’s cabin up in Canada.

For you, two weeks each summer
at Camp Country Boy.

We bought two-hundred acres
in Wisconsin, the barn
already threatening to collapse.

And then, four horses,
just because they’d look so pretty
in the field.

You built an A-frame outhouse,
put a window in
so we could watch the pretty horses
in the field.

I tried to bake bread,
had two babies in two years,
weeded the garden.

I told my friends back in the city
that I loved it,
rattled on about the size of the stars
in the night-sky,
the deep satisfaction
of growing our own food.

I never said that canning thousands
of tomatoes made me cry,
that those pretty horses needed water
in the winter too

that the babies,
though I was crazy about them,
were not the only kind of company
I craved,
nor was the porcupine
who’d taken up residence
in the root-cellar.

It was the mouse
in my underwear drawer
that finally did it.
I started packing that same day

for anyplace
away from nature.