Triptych

Triptych

After Han-shan

1.

This farmhouse—my home at field’s edge.

Sometimes cars pass on the dusty road.

The woods so quiet, turkeys roost at night.

In the river’s shadowed pools, trout rising.

My daughter and I pick pears from a lonely tree.

My wife tugs carrots from the garden.

And in my house what would you see?

Walls of shelves filled with books.

2.

My father and mother taught me to be content;

I need not envy how others make their living.

Click, click—my wife knits by the window.

Zoom, zoom—my son with his trucks.

Apple blossoms swirl around my raised arms.

Hands in pockets, I listen to warblers high in the oak.

Who might notice how I pass my days?

Well, the mail carrier stops each afternoon.

3.

Walking, I pause at the collapsing barn.

The barn, slowly folding, fills the still mind—

Mornings milking despite drifting snow,

Afternoons stacking the loft with hay.

Where sumac tumbles from the window hole,

And gray walls tremble from swallows’ shadows.

In the old cemetery, the bones of those who built this place—

Their names fading, but written in stone.

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