On an afternoon in October
I am arranged on a stool playing a guitar
on a stage awash in cerulean light
Sporting a hazel green Stetson
that brims rakishly over dark Maui Jims,
I can barely perceive the smiles
on the faces of dutifully attentive friends
crowding the hay mows
in a barn made of fieldstone and ancient oak
I close my eyes while sustaining an F major chord
When I open my eyes I see a faint quiver
in the dusty air flowing through a needle of sunbeam
as the final reverberations or F and E and C and G
are absorbed in the slated ceiling
Later that evening a golden ray
Illuminates an inscription carved in the hay mow wall —
the name of a girl whose family farmed our land
almost two centuries ago — “Faith”
Faith wished to be remembered, I must suppose,
for she cast her identity into the future
and I am the one chosen to recognize it,
so I conjure her and ask:
Could she foresee a future
in which this barn becomes a cathedral of music
where boisterous neighbors gather to celebrate
the flowering of America?
Bouncing down Old Bethlehem Road
in her father’s wagon on a summer Sunday
on the way to the Mennonite church,
secure under her gray bonnet, chores completed,
did she ever glance back at the farmstead
and glimpse what time had in store?
Did she envision a Spirit in the barn
who frolics in echoes emanating from the stiff fingers
or an old man playing a blue guitar?
Donald Wolfe is a 17-year resident of Bucks County. Formerly a partner and CPA in a large international accounting firm, he also obtained an M.A. in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. He writes and performs music as a singer-guitarist, paints, crafts stop-motion animation videos, travels and fly-fishes.
Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.