Old Red Barn

Old Red Barn


Old red barn
Outside my window
Bearded buffalo in the stockyard
Stretched out on the green
Where a flag is in rags humbly hung for some dark hour
The neighbor’s baby’s crying louder
And my nerves are snapping like a twig

We’ve never lived outside these ten square miles
Never seen the Golden Gate or the Eiffel of Paris
We’d joke that farm girls never go out of style
Say, “I heard that’s in the Bible from that preacher on TV”

The stillness wilts
The mayflies flee
There’s a grandfather face in the trunk of the tree
“Pick the rows before you pickle the beans”
I’m hounded by these memories

Of an old red barn in Henderson county
Where the Derby horses grow their manes
And dream about the sea.

Social worker split us up because my mother is a fish
My father’s just been driftin’ in her wild, rocky stream
I had no choice but to turn to religion
Or at least go out fishin’ for the truth to set me free

Water bug on stilts skatin’ by my feet
Crayfish breakin’ in the hatchery
Knew that woman was wasted when she stood up to leave
She took her sunhat off and blew a kiss to me

In this old red barn in Henderson County
Where the Derby horses grow their manes
And dream about the sea