The wind swirls around me, cold and insistent as it whispers of things lost. Leaves crunch like tiny bones under my feet as I approach that old red barn, faded now, with its drooping shingles and rat-gnawed siding. It used to be different. It was different
I remember when it still smelled like smoke and tasted like rain. Misty recollections spring up suddenly, threatening to choke me like creeping ivy after a downpour. I remember the softness of the hay when we shared it. I remember looking up at the roof joists and their smoke patina, planning and dreaming with you, for youfor us. I remember pressing my lips against the splintered wood just once, just once on that icy autumn morning, when you were waiting out by the truck with wings itching to be spread. When those wings finally did open up, they were iron, rusted and heavy. We didn't know that at the time.
It sounds like a graveyard nowlike nothingness. It used to sound like you and I, like echoes of a warm summer sun. The wind picks up again, tugging at my hair and sliding icy fingers under my jacket. It murmurs to me, softly, like you used to.
"You should have come back sooner."