Windows with Wavy Glass
The barn is round and old, a relic of an age long gone.
But it is loved, and cared for. It lives,
work still done each day, a place of preparation and storage,
hard work, season after season.
It is dark here with spears of light
falling from the ceiling, air holes to prevent the hay from rot.
Stand near one of the sunbeams
and you see dust motes dancing in the light.
Walkways run along the edge. Curved and aged,
the plaster worn and whitewashed and worn again. Mostly dark.
Here and there a window.
Broad. Bright. Wavy old glass panes
distort everything, but not enough that you miss
the light and green, green grass outside.
About this poem
The picture was taken at the Hancock Shaker Village, but it could be any of the hundreds of old homes and buildings I have seen in my life, with the distorted, wavy old glass of another century.
I love those old windows. Yes, the images are distorted, but that’s OK. It’s like looking out on a Monet Landscape. Beauty, half real, half in the mind. Sometimes distortions are beautiful.
I have a tendency to remember the past through the same kind of wavy glass. More beauty than was probably really there. I know this is so. It makes me a lousy historian, but a good poet. I can live with that.