In a Sow’s Ear | TheFencePost.com
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In a Sow’s Ear

by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

When you drive the highways and by-ways anywhere Out West, you often pass by old homestead houses, falling down corrals, caved in barns, rusting car bodies ” relics of those who have worked our western land ahead of us. Don’t you wonder about those who used to live there, what they looked like, how they did their daily chores?

Once when walking around the pasture of an old homestead, I found a shovel blade with a handle fashioned from a cottonwood branch. Can you imagine what necessity caused someone to put together that makeshift tool? Who remembers? How can anyone ever know the thoughts of those who went before? Reflecting on the past can bring on a fit of nostalgia which can lead to an attempt to capture some of those ponderings in verse.

Memories

That weathered barn in the pasture there “

so many years has shouldered all storms.

Its battered roof now sagging low “

crumbling, peeling, tired and worn.

No calving cows, no heavy sheep

lie within its ancient walls.

Ghostly spirit beasts from times

long past linger in the stalls.

Only memories my friend,

memories of long ago.

Mournful echoes on the wind,

memories nobody knows.

That ancient Model T, forlorn skeleton

from times gone by.

No driver shouts or turns a crank,

only lonely breezes sigh;

Half buried in the dirt, stark

remainder of once proud motor car.

A faithful servant in its day

transporting folks to near and far.

Only memories my friend,

memories of long ago.

Mournful echoes on the wind,

memories nobody knows.

The garden gate hanging drunken

on a rusty squeaking hinge.

Humming in the moaning wind,

sad and lonesome mournful twinge.

No plants growing, no harvest soon,

to fill the cellars with its yield.

Overgrown with invading weeds,

beneath the moon, a barren field.

Only memories my friend,

memories of long ago.

Mournful echoes on the wind,

memories nobody knows.

The weathered house forsaken there,

alone, its chimney fallen in.

Mem’ries in its window eyes,

eerie shadows from within.

Dancing phantoms, ghosts of life’s

past rhythms drift like puffs of smoke.

Softly passing on to us

their long ago dreams of love and hope.

Only memories my friend,

memories of long ago.

Mournful echoes on the wind,

memories nobody knows.


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