a writer of sorts
The far barn was off limits;
a mantra drummed into us
from the day we moved in.
No access to be had beyond
the rotting stiles and snow
weathered paint that flaked
like falling sycamore keys
into black silage tea.
Slinking through the shadows
to dry rib doors with rust crackled
hinges and into charcoal gloom.
A steel arachnopolis of derelict
tractors and combineds resolves
as eyes adjust to a glut of dull
blades threatening to shiv,
as winter brittle sun bayonets
dust and gloam. Breath – misted –
wheezes from behind grey
stone wall and – curious – I pass
between web and trembling
shank to its forlorn source.
The stud bull, body crammed,
into a cell; too small. Job done,
abandoned until spring.
Head and horns stretch for
the elusive lambent shard,
brown eyes glaring. Gently
cooing, I reach to stroke his
brow. He starts and yawps, unused
to contact; confused by a moment
of caring. I knew better than
to open his pen and instead, turned
and pulled at the corrugated iron
holding the brittle laithe door together;
flooding his cell with sunshine
and fresh breeze. Eyes now closed,