Ode to an Old Barn

It is a place where animals roam free

In the woods the first time 

I felt love 

Beneath those crooked and rotting boards. 

It could be breathing that came as the wind blew,  5

On one of many panic attacks, alone, 

Where my thoughts wouldn’t be heard or judged,

By anyone 

But squirrels, they drop their acorns on me. 

Maybe it’s the place with decay, wooden floors, 10

That reminded me I live at my lowest,

Without a home or love, the world’s sound, 

Filling me,

When air escapes my teeth.

Where I spent nights with too much 15

Music, drinks, friends, a place we all knew,

Before we became stained with red 

Grading ink or blood,

We grew too fast for the rainboots on our feet. 

This old wooden structure was home to animals, 20

Whether it be my cherished friends or wildlife, 

And like the smell of watery grass or the distant train horn

We remember,

Though deep in the woods your grave lies. 

Cherished frame of wood older than my painted nails,  25

You are where loam and soil became a sapling, 

A branch, grew leaves and fruit and bark, your wood now,

A mighty tree,

A tree for they who knew you best, me. 

Sylvane Friddell

Sylvane Friddell is an English major and a Creative Writing minor at Cumberland University. In their free time, they enjoy hiking, drawing, cooking, and having long and heated discussions about the enraging themes in a piece of media they consumed.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN