Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Barn Full Of Summer

Our barn is a combination
detached garage and Sturdi-Built,
full of tools and plumbing parts...
and party goods...
old lumber...
and stuff not even
sophisticated enough for a yard sale.

Last week's painting project
caused me to venture out there
to find a suitable brush
and perhaps an empty coffee can
for clean up.

The last time I had been in the barn
was probably when I hung
Halloween decorations from the
or parked the lawnmower in it's
winter resting place.

But, a twist of the doorknob
and a flick of the light switch-
and it was suddenly summer again.

Lawn chairs lined up
reminded me of slow evenings
and slow talks...
sipping beer and swatting mosquitoes...
large laughter and tiny kisses...
feeling that hot sun
turn cool
as it melted over the green fields
into a puddle of yellow.

There were empty planters-
still moist with soil-
that once bloomed with
velvet petunias
and baby pink impatients.

And there was Samuel, my scarecrow-
face down in a wheelbarrow-
his flannel shirt a bit faded-
his pinwheel hands spinning ever so slightly
as a breeze came in the door.

Samuel had danced in the garden
at our summer disco party-
proudly wearing the silver studded cap,
gold lame shirt
and huge sunglasses
that I chose for him.

And, without complaint,
he became a zombie
when harvest time arrived.

As I placed the latex mask over his head,
I almost sensed that he knew
the end was coming.

That the garden was dead...
His job was done...
The barn was saving him a place
to hole up for the winter...
That time was passing
and another year had gone.

I riffled past shovels and rakes,
tents and tinsel -
and mismatched jersey gloves.
I sorted through spray paint
and motor oil
and bolts as big as my fingers.

And, at last,
I found a paintbrush-
well-used and slightly crusty-
ready to take on a new project.

As I reached over to pull the door
and turn off the light,
I glanced once again at Samuel.

"Hold on, buddy," I whispered,
"Summer is coming...
We will soon dance again."