North Fork Barn Blues

When we were a farm, I had three tall stalls. One for the old gray
mare. Remember that tune? One for the work horse. Milk cow too. 
Up where it was warm? My hay loft—sharp, stickety & sweet.  

When roads were dirt & dung, when young boys went to war
& never came back. Fields fold over time. Now it’s bikes, kites
& pseudo-canoes. The bronze monuments? Long gone green.

Train tracks shined pearl from oyster shells spilling from barrel
after barrel headed west to the red brick mansions of the rich, 
before the beds of men & shellfish were laid bare by income

tax & greed. One in the same name. And you thought my name
was nostalgia? That’s a man’s word for a world that never was. 
The one a man wished for, but never got around to living

before he was gone. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes my right-now
owners sigh as they bury their little black dog right behind
my unoiled door. Back where the aspen tree weeps. 

Why do they make their dinner outdoors? That’s what a woman’s
kitchen is for. They worship the god of charcoal in its metal grate, 
forsaking the uprightness that is pew & praise on Sunday. 

A sin not to know to whom & what to pray for. Dinner won’t get
you no where near heaven. And from where I stand, this current
crop is quick-stepping straight down to that red hot location.

Hollering & flickering late-night-lights on small devil screens. 
What ever happened to chair, book & two-for-two pleasure in bed?  
Don’t sing “she ain’t what she used to be” to me. I’ve seen it all. 

Plainer then. Tawdrier now. Three wars, full forty families here
& gone. All that’s tall, silent & green chopped up for fast food
& cold music. I’m still here, two hundred years & counting. 

MIRANDA BEESON is the recipient of the Jody Donohue Poetry Prize from Stony Brook University. New poems will be appearing in The Laurel Review and Badlands Literary Journal. She’s been awarded several New York State Council on the Arts Grants for teaching a generation of young poets. Currently happily at work on a manuscript of poems, Through the Bones of the Living. She is an MFA candidate at Stony Brook Southampton.