Monday, November 27, 2017

DMC: "Oxblood Red" by Juanita Havill


Once it was red
now no longer
the color of ox blood
the barn stands gray and bleak
in disrepair
gaps where boards have split
the farmer would paint it
replace the boards
if he were still alive

pigeons don’t mind
roosting on rafters
cooing in the morning
mice don’t mind
sheltering in aging straw
hiding from the owl

the wind doesn’t mind
it blows through chinks
reclaims the loft
and one day
collapses the boards in a heap
of memories
strong as the smell
of fresh-baled hay

© 2017 Juanita Havill. All rights reserved.

Click HERE to read this month's interview with Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group. Her challenge is to write a poem that finds beauty in something that is not usually considered beautiful.

You have until Thursday, November 30th, at 5:00 pm (EST) to join in! Post your poem on our November 2017 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation HERE. One lucky participant will win a copy of The Sun Played Hide-and-Seek: A Personification Story by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Carol Crimmins, and published by Millbrook Press earlier this year.


  1. The title got me, and, what a beautifully crafted poem! That final stanza is chock-full of imagery and feeling. Thanks to both of you for sharing!

  2. I certainly don't mind telling you how much I love this poem, Juanita! It makes me yearn for a place and time I've never actually known, but feel like I have.

  3. It is a wonderful poem. I imagine many would love reading this, and remembering an old "oxblood-painted" barn they once knew. Love the repetition of "won't mind" and that ending-wow!

  4. Love this--the pigeons, the mice, the wind that doesn't mind. You've created a vivid world. Thanks for bringing us there!

  5. Ha, ha, I thought it was going to be about polishing men's shoes! My father used to have tins of oxblood polish and a stiff brush... Juanita's poem is so very different from what I expected, and, so very poignant. Two thumbs up.

  6. What a gorgeous piece of writing.

  7. That is simply beautiful. Thanks!