Julie L. Moore: "Barn Burning"




My neighbor tends the circle of fire

on the floor where the stables once stood.


Planks were loose and warped, paint

splintered, faded like a memory,

tin roof sunken,


threatening, always, to come down.


Every time the wind would whirl,

the whole thing rattled,


and she’d say to me, like a mother

whisking away a disruptive child,

I’m so sorry about that.


This summer, she summonsed a bulldozer


to tear it down in a single day.

She stands in its place now,  


igniting wood that once housed her father’s

hay and cows, their former way of life

flickering, spectral,


rising with the smoke.



Julie L. Moore is the author of Particular Scandals, forthcoming in The Poiema Series by Cascade Books. Her other books include Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions) and Election Day (Finishing Line Press). A Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Moore has had her poetry published in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Journal, Atlanta Review, CALYX, Cimarron Review, The Missouri Review Online, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily.