The Barn

Finally I approach.
The double doors that look
so staunchly padlocked
swing back at my touch.
I think of that Monday morning,
summer still about
and crickets happy in the warmth.
He left our home for this.

The hollow space is drab
beneath the rafters
and sunlight at a high window
streams through dusty air.
No hay for cows no longer
kept in stanchions down below,
only crates and boxes, storage
for the dairy up the road.

He must have stacked them,
made a ladder to the beam
and climbed
and sat there.
Then the rope, the studied knot.
A sigh perhaps, as if
he had no choice.

The other end around the chestnut beam
which didn't give at all
beneath his weight.
They built these barns to last.
He almost heard the cows below,
shifting in their places,
bellies full of milk
and unborn calves.

He could still untie the rope
and walk back to the house.
That was no good though,
tomorrow's never better.
One last taste of fragrant air,
a shift of weight.
It's done.