Poem: Just Beyond the Barrier

Just Beyond the Barrier

Soft light in a stranger’s room.
Pale green paint on the walls. Soothing.
Impliments of nineteenth century science litter the table.

Yes, it is a museum. A mottled one, at that.
Some exhibits lavishly explained,
others left to your imagination. Like this one.

You have an urge to climb the barrier.
A need to look closer. To go
where you are not meant to be,

a need to understand more than they are telling you,
Whether from ignorance, or a choice
that you simply do not need to know.

It is one of your flaws, an unwillingness
to let others decide where you are allowed
and where you are not.

About this poem.

Another long poem made short. Another poem, that after I edited it, turned out to be about something different than what it was supposed to be about. But more true.

We went to the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown NY this weekend, which is where this picture was taken. And while it wasn’t this room, I did slip into a space not open to the public to see an old pipe organ in the balcony of a church. Like the poem intimates, it was not the first time I have wandered where I was not allowed. A character flaw for sure. But one with benefits.



  1. Tom, I also went away this weekend with my two older boys (age 30 and 33) to see and ride on the historic steam-train the Norfolk and Western Class J 611 at Strasburg Pennsylvania. A special walk back into history where my two sons “wandered where they were not allowed.” I brought them up right!!! Way to go Tom❣️👍

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