For some reason I have always been fascinated with the past, or rather, what might have been or could have been … what has been lost through progress … the mystery and memories of those who once lived. The following poem reminded me of how nostalgic I am about the subject, which is probably why I prefer to write historical rather than contemporary stories. This is another poem I wrote a good 45 years ago, and it shows me that even then I was imagining what life was like in days gone by. I think it’s sad that too many people have been forever forgotten.
DAYS GONE BY
I saw an old, old house today.
The wood was worn and weathered gray.
In the gaping windows there was no glass.
It seemed a monument to the past.
I wandered to the barn out back
With its sunken roof, tar-paper black.
The weeds grew to my waist, and bees
Buzzed by to rest on sweet-flowered weeds.
I dared not go into that barn,
But I saw signs of a one-time farm.
An old, rusted plow sat just inside,
With harnesses for horses that long-since died.
All was peaceful and quiet there.
No worry, no hurry, not a care.
Not a thing was heard for miles around.
The birds and the breeze made the only sound.
I wondered who had once lived here,
Perhaps with family they held dear.
I tried to vision things way back then,
Who toiled on this old farm, and when?
Progress never will replace
That special look on an old farmer’s face.
It cannot bring back, with its fast, new pace
A people and heritage so silently erased.
© Rosanne Bittner 2016