The Hayloft


The rickety hayloft door,

like terrible drumming

against its tattered track,

was our barrier between

the thunderous swarm

and blusterous squall.

The night was our journey.

Two of us could move

hay bales from stack

to stack to form a fort

of towers, a malleable

playground to jump

from apex to cavern

at leisure. My cousin,

teetering unbalanced

atop the tallest tower fell

unto the steely floor,

scaring the cows beneath,

and his brow was torn

by the exposed nail,

original and rusted,

he cried and we ran

up the dirt path

to our homes and parents

like wounded soldiers.




From shelves I wipe

the enigmatic house dust

rumored to be composed

of mostly human skin.

One warm lamp is on,

though the furnace

warms me, and her,

and the two ladybugs

who died snuggling

where wall and ceiling kiss.

This house is manufactured

dust which will crumble.

My body is the same

though may take that fate first.

The slushy snow vanishes

onto pavement

and the road reflects

lights like love does fear,

and I reminisce:

the Bible claims

we will return to dust

from which we came.

And I claim we will rebuild

to a new body, recycled

renewed, and ready

to destroy again.


–Maxwell Redder

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