Old Green Sheep Shed

This was written for dVerse where we are to use “shed,” in whatever definition you choose, in a poem.

Old Green Sheep Shed

My beloved forest green cabin

began life as a sheep shed.

Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered

Appalachian hills, a stream gurgling on the west,

a child’s version of nirvana.

Forget that it had three rooms.

Forget that there was no tv.

Forget that the only radio played old time C&W.

I spent hours alone, discovering natural paradise.

The creeks entranced me. Lift a stone

discover an aqua-colored crayfish. Striped minnows darted.

A snapping turtle moved with astonishing swiftness.

Snakes, snakes, snakes undulated.

At night for many years I listened to whippoorwills

until one year I never heard them again,

or ever since.

Happiness was in rising each day

avoiding sweat bees,

savoring Mrs. Hoke’s homemade peach ice cream

icy with chunks of fresh peaches

and coconut cookies,

eating corn on the cob picked fresh from the garden

sweet juicy kernels erupting oozing creamy butter.

Bundled on July 4th, while store-bought fireworks dazzled,

always the best I’ve ever seen.

Falling asleep at night

with the radio on,

Loretta Lynn singing about divorce

or the terrifying sounds of the theme

to “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

its strange whistles and thumping, voices chanting

frightening to a child, the only one awake, in the nighttime.

Waking to thunder, lightning illuminating

mullein on the hillside, marching sentries.

Every summer equated happiness

until Daddy’s death

when life changed.


25 thoughts on “Old Green Sheep Shed

  1. A poignant autobiographical poem that drew me into a world so different from mine. I love the romantic description of the ‘beloved forest green cabin…Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered Appalachian hills’. In the retrospective view of a child, I can imagine that nirvana, the natural paradise, and I would love to visit. I love the beautiful details of the aqua-colored crayfish, striped minnows and the snapping turtle. I’ve never heard real whippoorwills, only on film, and the homemade peach ice cream sounds delicious. So sad that the irrevocable ending had to come.

  2. What wonderful, vivid, sweeping memories Sascha, just beautiful! Poignant and sad the ending couplet, losing your father. But what a treasure trove of goods times. Thank you for sharing this rich snd splendid piece of writing…

  3. This is a wonderfully nostalgic read! I loved every detail!. Your sheep shed was perfect! I could see and imagine every detail as you shed light on the pieces of your life. There is nothing like being out in nature as a child that develops and instills a love of life. I could identify with most of your experiences. The corn on the cob fresh out of the garden takes me back. Loved it! Well done!

  4. “Nestled in between two sloped-shouldered
    Appalachian hills”
    “At night for many years I listened to whippoorwills
    until one year I never heard them again,
    or ever since.”
    snakes repeated until the undulate right there on the line.
    This is just marvelous writing that flows. The description has the reader right there. Having grieved over Mary Oliver’s death…these past two days I’ve gone back and read some of her marvelous poetry about nature…many of it written from Provincetown and Cape Cod. Your writing seems to me to be in the same vein. There is a beauty here in your description. The simplicity of life in this cabin is replicated in the simplicity of your words…the cadence of some lines that sound like what they mean…the second example I’ve written above.
    And the finality of the ending.
    I am so glad you posted to the prompt. I truly truly loved reading this!

    1. Thank you so much, Lilian. Mary Oliver is my favorite poet, for one reason because of her love of nature and ability to transcribe those emotions to the page. To even be mentioned as being similar in anyway is more than I could ever hope. 🙂

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