Tobacco Barn

It stands there all alone in the field.

Furrows were long forgotten and worn down to subtle ripples in the ground.

Its dark wood, covered in green kudzu, peeked out from the leaves;

gazing out across the field.

Memories of rows of sturdy plants reaching for the sun.

Men in overalls, women in cotton dresses, children dressed in flour-sack patched dungarees

hunched over in the scorching heat.

Sunlight glints off metal blades, and bird calls mix with braying mules as the wagons lumber onward.

Leather creaks, hitches jingle as the wagons burdened with another crop pull up to the barn.

Soon its filled with tables of broad leaves, brown callused hands sort, and tie.

Bundles hang from its lofty rafters; swinging in the heat to dry.

It stands there all alone in the field.

Its roof has sunken in, and the once strong rafters sag under the weight of

time gone by and memories lost to another generation.

 

~A. L. Jones


Submitted: October 13, 2022

© Copyright 2023 A. L. Jones. All rights reserved.

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Michael Chad Cleary

I'm going to give you props for this one. I live here in NC and the "baccer" industry as we call it was once HUGE. I spent a little time in the fields and in the barn--not my favorite experience. However, there is something about the smell of those leaves curing that stays with a person. I don't use tobacco of any kind, but the smell of it curing is unlike any other. The barns--such as the one you describe--dot the landscape driving through our area. They stand leaning, neglected, and abandoned--sad reminders of a time that has come and gone. Now in the place of those fields are vineyards. Very nice work. Took me back!

Thu, October 13th, 2022 12:00pm

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Thank you. All of my family on my Dad's side is from NC. My grandparents had a very large tobacco farm in a little place called Harrells (about 40 miles from Wilmington). My grandfather had already passed on by the time I came around, but I loved to visit my grandmother and listen to her and my dad tell stories of when the farm was at its peak. Of course there were a few tobacco barns left on the farm, but being elderly she had stopped farming it and focused on raising chickens commercially. Our family has been in the area since, well forever..1600's I think. It's nice to revisit your roots from time to time.

Thu, October 13th, 2022 5:31pm

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