The Barn



Carl Sandburg


From “The People, Yes” 1936, Harcourt & Brace

Carl Sandburg

For sixty years the pine lumber barn
had held cows, horses, hay, harness, tools, junk,
amid the prairie winds of Knox County, Illinois
and the corn crops came and went, plows and wagons,
and hands milked, hands husked and harnessed
and held the leather reins of horse teams
in dust and dog days, in late fall sleet
till the work was done that fall.
And the barn was a witness, stood and saw it all.

“That old barn on your place, Charlie,
Was nearly falling last time I saw it,
How is it now?”

“I got some poles to hold it on the east side
And the wind holds it up on the west.”