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Faded Glory

Lord, Send More Cowboys
March 22, 2022
Hitchin’-Up Cowboy Style
April 5, 2022

How many old barns and sheds have we all seen abandoned and collapsing along some less-traveled country road? Blame it on my years of working as a carpenter, or perhaps it's due to my romantic nature and longing for earlier pastoral days, but at my age with creaking bones myself, I can almost hear these previously-illustrious structures groaning to stay erect. Invariably, upon seeing such a dying building, I want to spiff it up and render aid. I want to restore its utility and once-proud architecture. Think about it. Once upon a time, these structures were valued; they had purpose, function and care. I wonder when I see one with a sagging ridge if its utility is truly gone or if a new owner has simply changed the use of the land and no longer values the labor and love that went into such construction.

Faded Glory

She still stands there on her own
Though she's sadly bent and bowed
Seems no one has much use for her
Times have changed and she's grown old

Her glorious history is silent now
Grown dull like her weathered paint
Passers-by have no clue of her past
At best, only noticing her as quaint

Oh the stories that still whisper
From her weathered, dry, plank walls
The parched scent of former horse life
Whispering from her long-empty stalls

Good neighbors from counties around
Had eagerly come from far and near
They'd gathered 'round to build this barn
That's just how it was done out here

Some brought their carpentry skills
While others bore only their 'willing'
To raise this barn proud to the sky
Traditional neighbor-roles fulfilling

That was way before my time
Though things haven't changed much
We still value giving a hand to folks
Helping with chorin', gatherin' and such

When I was just a toehead kid
I used to hide in the loft and listen
To Swede fiddlin' with Rex his shepherd
In memory, those heart-tunes still glisten

When Swede would get to fiddlin' fancy
A lively 'ol foot-stompin' tune
Rex would join in a' howlin' harmony
Seranadin' to the shinin' moon

This barn had been more than home to horses
It hadn't just stored tack, grain and hay
She'd hosted shindigs and cowgirl romancin'
Barn dances hoofed-happy here back in the day

This timber-framed, tired but proud old barn
In her walls packs a regal, proud story
She was once the queen barn in this region
Now she's a mere shadow of faded glory

I reckon times must always move along
Change is inevitable so they say
But it seems no one informed this ol' barn
Since she's still a'strugglin' her best to stay

And she rightly could be saved for sure
By pullin' the wall beams right back in
That swayback ridge could be straightened
Helpin' this barn to serve proud once agin'

She really needs a coat of fresh paint
And, of course, new roofin' shingles too
But I 'spect if she just got used and loved
She'd come again to shinin' 'bout like new

I'm fundamentally opposed to waste
It goes agin' my nature and grain
These old buildings oughta' be restored
To once again serve proud and regal-reign

by Rik "Yonder" Goodell

© 2022. All rights reserved

I am blessed that David Graham allows me to post so many of his paintings that have inspired, or at least contributed to fleshing out, my rhyming stories. If you do a search here on my website for "The Fencin' Crew" or "The Cowboy Way", or many others, you'll see a number of fine pieces Mr. Graham has graciously allowed to accompany my poetry.

To see more of his work, go to his website:

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