In the barn demoted to garage,
the ax in a cherry stump can’t be budged.
Daylight perforates siding despite
the battered armor of license plates—
corroded colors, same state: decay,
their dates the only history
of whoever tilled the soil
and left, as a welcome, the skull
of a possum nailed to the door, and the trail
of lime to the torn sack
in a corner where cobwebs festoon a scythe.
Rusted sharp, it sings
when he grips its splintery handle, swings,
and crowns topple from Queen Anne’s lace.
Source: Poetry (June 2012).