Empty Barns, by Randall Durst

There is a sadness of empty barns
Spreading like a disease
Across the country.

The milkers and strainers
Hang for years in the milk house,
The bulk tanks sit empty and cold,
Oily dust settles on the compressor.

Nothing is sold for a long time
As though the farmer just can’t
Bring himself to believe 
That he won’t be milking again

The barns become
Desert warehouses of oddments
Till one day, perhaps,
The urban harpies descend
And bulldoze them away
To make room for their
Rustic mansions with trapezoidal windows.

Or they fix the barn up
As a boutique for scented candles and soap.
The saws and augers 
That saw service in the shop
Are hung on walls
As quaint artifacts.
Milk cans receive decals of American eagles.

Suave sophisticates in shiny sedans
Shop and exclaim!
And they feel like they’ve really touched the country.

But the country is gone.
Fading away in a sadness
Of empty barns.

Randall Durst, Yuba