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County Road D, Brantwood, WI, After a Storm

"a barn collapsed / in a spiral of timbers and twisted roof"

Published onDec 16, 2020
County Road D, Brantwood, WI, After a Storm



White trunks of birches flash

in the quick sun and shadow woods.


At the top of a rise, a lightning-split

elm and fallen fence. Behind,


an overgrown lane of ancient maples,

lopsided and burly, leaves stained


with autumn. Beyond, a barn collapsed

in a spiral of timbers and twisted roof.


A faded farmhouse stares ahead,

dead-windowed and empty.


In the yard a homemade hay wagon,

two flat tires.


All around the random decay.

The crawling edge of woods.


Below the house, a gentle sloping

orchard. Gnarled trunks standing


where a farmer’s hands first set them,

still living and bearing fruit.


Runty apples reddening for

no harvest.






Fredric Hildebrand is a retired physician living in Neenah, WI. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, "Northern Portrait" (Kelsay Books, 2020), and "A Glint of Light" (Finishing Line Press, 2020). His recent poetry has appeared in The MacGuffin and Third Wednesday.

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