I went back to Grandma's farm today and wish I hadn't.
I searched through the rubble of my shattered dreams
and came up with only a rusted nail
and some aged, rotting wood
that once belonged to Grandpa.
Time robbed me of what should have been mine.
I had spent precious childhood days at this farm, this retreat,
and longed to return to walk along that dusty road
where now only skinny, leaning fence posts
stand drunkenly at attention.
Why did they desecrate this hallowed place
that shaped and polished the bright patina of my youth?
Who removed that creaking porch where I stretched out in the sun
to listen to the summer bees noisily foraging for sweet nectar?
Who hauled away every last visage of the barn
where I poked my way through cobwebs on the stairs,
dodging laying hens in their unprotected corners
to reach the lofts where Merle and I swung from ropes
and bounced on soft cushions of sweet-smelling, new-mown hay?
And where is that well, that deep reservoir of pure, cool refreshment
that we dropped frogs into when Grandpa's back was turned?
Who sawed off at ground level every single MacIntosh
and Northern Spy apple tree in Grandpa's orchard
and with imposing yellow bulldozers changed forever
the once beautiful terrain
to accommodate their out-of-place, modern split-level homes?
Oh, my shattered dream, my favorite childhood place,
we should have protected you more
and preserved you for our children
and our children's children
so that they could share our memories
of that farm, that most precious spot on earth
where today sits only mocking memories of our fleeting youth.