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In the barn demoted to garage,
the axe 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.


Appeared in Poetry