Rolling through the valley,
I passed the canal and mill towns,
the farms that string like
an antique necklace all the way
to Albany.
Near Dolgeville, I saw
a once-was farmhouse and barn,
empty of family and stock.
The barn’s roof rested
on the milking floor,
empty birds’ nests in
its beams and joists.

Yet the house still stood,
though canted toward the Mohawk.
It looked to be held up
by one window, which stood
almost plumb and middling strong
for the time being, staring
as it always did,
out at the path where
the cows once rumbled in
and lowed for their milking.

“Don’t blink” I said to myself
as I rushed by,
“because someday this
will all be gone.”
“Don’t blink,” I begged the house,
whose sad swirled-glass eye
looked out on one more hollow bead
in the necklace leading
all the way to Albany.

© 2017, Joseph Hesch

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