The Sighing Barn is invisible, I am told,
she is old and has magical powers,
she allows herself to be seen when the sun
is low in the sky,
and the pilgrim on his hero journey will not laugh at her,
or mourn the old days, or say what a shame it is to see her,
she is not a pathetic or helpless thing,
not something to be mourned,
and I walked down the long dirt road,
around the cow barn, back of the alfalfa
field, and I stopped and closed my eyes,
and listened for the sighs, and came through the woods, and
I there she was, The Sighing Barn, her sighs beautiful, lyrical,
deep sighs that caressed the trees and brushed across the top of the meadow
grass, and sent the barn swallows zooming over her nest,
and she swirled her skirts and the rabbits fled from the meadow,
and the mice vanished into their holes.
“Hey handsome,” she said, “what can I do for you? If you feel sorry
for me just beat it, I will shower you with worms and dust and vanish.”
I hurried forward to bow and say I did not feel sorry for her,
she was a beautiful
and proud thing, settling into herself.
“Good boy, she said, come and have a seat, I’ll tell you a bunch of
stories, I am not a sad thing, I am life itself, coming and going,
my sighs are the breath of hope and promise, my curtsy to the next
thing, why mourn a life that was well and fully lived?, truth is,
my feet hurt, I am tired, ready to move on.”
And she sighed, and I felt a soft and musky breeze
brush my cheeks.
Are we not all the children of change?
And I closed my eyes,
and she was gone.