Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOUNTAIN FARM, by MALCOLM COWLEY

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MOUNTAIN FARM, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: I watched the agony of a mountain farm
Last Line: All the night through an open and empty door.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers

I WATCHED the agony of a mountain farm, a gangrenous decay;
the farm died with the pines that sheltered it
the farm died when the woodshed rotted away.

It died to the beat of a loose board on the barn
that flapped in the wind all night;
nobody thought to drive a nail in it.
The farm died in a broken window light,

a broken pane upstairs in the double bedroom
through which the autumn rain
beat down all night on the mouldy turkey carpet;
nobody thought to putty another pane.

Nobody thought to nail a slat on the corncrib
nobody mowed the hay
nobody came to mend the rotting fences.
The farm died when the two boys went away,

or maybe lived till the lone old man was buried
but after it was dead I loved it more
though poison sumac grew in the empty pastures,
though ridgepoles fell and though the fall winds whistled
all the night through an open and empty door.

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