Yellow Farmhouse on Forty Acres

By Mary Salisbury

Apple Orchard


First, the catalogs from Stark Brothers. Two thousand feet above sea level. Arrival like a

birthday, celebration and unwrapping. A grove beyond the garden, before the spring-fed

creek, a border made between flat land and sweep of meadow. Deer circle the trees,

an ancient worshipping ritual. Our children reach for the fruit as you steady them,

your hand on the ladder, the world ending.


Front Porch


We gathered on the porch and made a circle of our chairs, to talk and smell the mountain air,

the stretch of land before the barn, an oak, a madrone, three flowering plums, a part of me

forever buried there. The pink of spring, the pulse of death, warning us.


Barn Lights


A frozen night, I step outside to stand beneath the stars. The barn shape looms

in the distance, its one opening a rectangle etched in small blue and purple lights.

An owl moves above me, all the world above me, and I know I will fall upon this

memory forever, frozen in a deep and wounding place of home, taken and forever

pulsing through me.