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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 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, noticing her only as quaint

Oh the stories that still whisper
From her weathered, dry, plank walls
The parched scent of horse life
Subtly calling from her well-served stalls

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

Some brought carpentry skills
Others bore only their 'willing'
To raise this barn 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 Fuzzy Olson fiddlin' with Rex his shepherd
In memory, those beloved tunes still glisten

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

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

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

I reckon times must move along
Change is inevitable so they say
But it seems no one informed this ol' barn
She's still strugglin' hard to stay

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

She really needs a coat of paint
And of course new roofin' too
But I think mostly if she just got used and loved
She'd come 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 and reign

by Rik 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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