great-grandfather's farm, a place you visited once,
and went into, all alone, while the grownups sat and
talked in the house.
it was empty, or almost. wisps of hay covered the floor,
and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there was
a strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-ing
a little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild,
mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience of
animals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air,
a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.
mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof high
up and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.
you could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner,
on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemed
empty, but wasn't.
then--you still remember--you felt the rap of hunger--it was
noon--and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried back
to the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted you
on the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.
excerpted from "flare" mary oliver