Posted by: jackslife | May 14, 2009

Cold Ole Empty Barn

La Vida Locavore has posted a poem that I think works nicely as a follow-up to my poetry post last week.  This one makes me want to cry.

BY Carl Stone
Dec. 2007

I sold my cows today,
the last truck just left the farm,
and I’m sitin on this bale of hay
in a cold ole empty barn.

Oh, I’ve had trouble getting help to stay;
I suppose I know the reason.
It’s tough to do this every day,
season after season.

Last summer it was hot and dry;
I had trouble with my well.
The price of cows is pretty high;
figured it was time to sell.

It’s been a darn good run, I’d say,
since nineteen forty-three,
milk’s been shipped here every day,
first my dad and then by me.

Might know that I would blow it;
I’d be the one to drop the ball,
cause tomorrow, don’t ya know it,
there’ll be no milk shipped here at all.

The price of milk rests on the whim
of some fat cat money man
and it’s a game that I can’t win
no matter how I plan.

And someone’s getting rich I fear,
now doesn’t that seem funny?
I’m doin all the work right here
and he’s gettin all the money.

Guess I grew tired of that game;
It ain’t much fun no more,
but life here will never be the same,
that I know for sure.

See, I’m much too young to retire,
too old to be much good.
In town, don’t know if I’d be hired,
might not wanna if I could.

Cause all these years I’ve bossed myself
as near as I can tell.
Takin orders now from someone else
might not work too well.

But I figured I should get out now
cause I don’t owe a single soul
and if I milked another cow,
I’d end up in the hole.

At least I didn’t lose it,
got the machinery, got the land.
I’ll figure out a way to use it;
I still got the upper hand.

But there should be something here;
it seems after milkin cows so long,
more than a bunch of wore out dreams
like some sad ole country song.

There should be something more at least
when the milk cows leave the farm,
more than just a stack of cash
and a cold ole empty barn.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll get up,
come downstairs like some ole fool
and stare into my coffee cup
and wonder what to do.

Cause I sold my milk cows here today;
the last truck just left the farm
and I’m sitin on this bale of hay
in a cold ole empty barn.



  1. Nice. That reminds of me this incredible poem by Wallace McRae:

    • That poem’s awesome Andy! I think I’m going to have to start a new weekly feature called “Poems of Place”. There are so many great ones out there.

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