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Barn in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Out of a background as two-dimensional
as stained glass (with power and phone lines
for leading), this barn staggers.

Its own rear end is crushed flat
into the plane of sky and unmodulated buildings
by its outline's collaboration
with the sky's pattern of triangular shards,

but the front of the barn
with its undershadowed peak
takes on tentative solidity,
as if a creature from crowded Flatland
should probe outward into open space
seeking freedom.

And here in the new world of space,
the barn finds new limitations, trimmed
and diced by the formidably tangible lines
of a galvanized steel fence

whose highlighted spherical nub
(poking us between the eyes, cool, smooth
and of a hardness that hints at headache)
is the most solid thing here,

no freedom in solidity
where the limitations, too,
solidify, each thing, however spacious,
being only what it is. Even our seeing
is bounded by what it sees,
so that we know only limitations.

But it is interesting to be able to decide
to see on this textured canvas
a flat pattern and in that flatness
depth. What else can we decide?

From what position
in what space?

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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