Soft morning light filters through the sheer curtain--
lace doilies hung to soften the harsh wood of the beams above,
and the sweet smell of hay, bales stacked in wait.
The pastures beyond the barn,
now lush and lively and green.
This cozy room, with its low, whitewashed ceiling and several east-facing windows, is home to our herd of goats, growing smaller each year. Its few elderly members continue their contented existence--trimming the fence lines, chewing their cuds, reclining in spring warmth beside an overgrown cinder block “mountain,” once easily bounded up and over, now best for scratching the itch of winter’s wool.
Barn Swallows build here each spring, nests of mud and straw, firmly plastered to the beams, inches below the white ceiling, and facing the morning light.
Trimmed with long, graceful feather blankets, they appear empty--until I cross before the wall of windows, my shadow creeping over the room.
Five wavering heads rise in silence and thrust orange mouths forward to greet the expected offering of food—
but it is only I.
And so, the lazy slumber reclaims them.
Mother waits outside until the chores are finished here,
watching, through the windowpane, ready.
Her shadow enters and nudges them to wake.
Then she is gone again to the sky.