The Neighbor’s Barn

ed's barn“You are going to move!” The sound came as a discreet
Exhortation from near the red barn below the house.
Or, was it from a lion among the Aspens?
Coyotes, in their playful and magnanimous aspect
Were laughing all the while. “How is it that
Coyotes are so unlike wolves and at whom are
They laughing?” One implored. “I’ve always
Liked the Coyotes. Perhaps the Coyotes too
Have succumbed? At least the wolves are
Unequivocal.” He strode through the field,
Listening to his environment trepidatiously – as one
Who at last realized his material being was no longer
His own jurisdiction. The dictatorial words had seeped
Out during recent years as a pernicious gas up from the
Bowels of the earth. Horses and mules fed on the hill-
Side. “You, perhaps it’s you!” He lifted his voice.
“We gave you apples, too!” Mallards lifted off of the
Pond. “Was it in the whistle of their wings?” Deer were
In the Ponderosa. “They had knocked over the bails after
All; maybe it’s the deer?” He maddeningly thought to himself.
“The Harriers or Peregrines? They were there too.”
There’d been no quarrel with these, he knew.
“Ah, maybe it’s the sun, setting o’er head?”
Many have said the sun is responsible for
Directives and guidance. “Inti, is it you who
Quietly expounds derision?” He strained knowing
Full well the madness. “Perhaps Apu!” Residing
In Lolo’s shadow, he intoned. Gasping further he
Realized of course the mountains always have
Their way. Perhaps the knapweed among the
Herefords was responsible for the order “You
Are going to move!” He heard it again, a direct
Whisper; unable to trace its origin. “Who are you?
Who!” He yelled into the void, utter nothingness.
No discernible reply. Grey had worked its way
Sporadically into his beard. “Missoula…” He
Thought to himself. “The fishing, the fishing!” In angst
He glanced about for answers, none to be found. “A
Lengthy and methodical investment not to yield? The
Trails minutes from home and the unassuming ski hill?”
Thoughts of the countless rides with his children
Circulated in his mind. “What of the youngest?
Experiences still to be had?” Pondered the hitherto
Independent sole who’d intentionally shunned ostentation,
Materialism and the limelight as societal ills. Once more
the Coyotes cackled above the red barn below the house. “To think,
I once liked Coyotes. The mendacity…” a forlorn figure
Sitting in the grass dejectedly concluded.

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