Broken Down Shack

One of Karen’s desires on her hospice bucket list was to go hiking in Colorado one final time. We returned to some trails we took several years ago when we vacationed in that same area. Our children were very young and this location provided us with some lifelong memories

During a hike with the family about 20 years ago, we came upon the remains of an old log dwelling (pictured above) and it inspired a poem. I never did anything with it, but when Karen and I saw the same scene this past August, I stopped and quoted her the entire thing as I surveyed the exact spot. She asked, “how did you remember that from so long ago?” I told her I had no idea. It’s not like I rehearsed it in anticipation of the upcoming moment.

It seemed fitting to share it this morning. Its a poem of evaluation, of looking backward and looking forward. Two things I am doing a lot of these days.

Broken Down Shack

There’s a broken down shack on a hill by the trail 
That I passed as we were walking along
As I stopped to observe how I wished these old logs
Could just speak or even sing me their song
What would be told
About the seeker of gold
Who lived here long ago?
If he were here today, you know I’d ask him to say
Did you find your dream?
Did you find what you’re looking for?
Were you prepared for  what the journey had in store?
If you had a chance to go back in time
If you knew what I know
Would you do it all over again?
There’s a tiny headstone on a grave in a field 
Of a war that was fought long ago
Even though its well worn you can still see the name
Of the man who was laid there below
What would be told
About this soldier of old
Who fought here long ago?
If he were here today, you know I’d ask him to say
Did we find your dream?
Did we find what you’re fighting for?
Were you prepared for what the battle had in store?
If you had a chance to go back in time
If you knew what I know
Would you do it all over again?
There’s a broken down man in the light of the moon
Of a night like so many before
Even though he can’t sleep he can still dream a dream
Of a life he is still looking for
What would be told
Of this dreamer so bold
When his last days are through?
If we could go there today
Would we ask him to say
Did you find your dream?
Did you find what you’re looking for?
Were you prepared for what the journey had in store?
If you had a chance to go back in time
If you knew what I know
Would you do it all over again?

7 thoughts on “Broken Down Shack

  1. Judy Hendrick says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ken and I read it together at breakfast. Sending hugs and prayers.
    Both the miner and the soldier left something for us if we look back.
    Even if it was just a cross and a broken down shack.

  2. Teresa says:

    Love the way you can take a moment that may seem unremarkable and turn it into a thoughtful memory. Would love to hike the trail Karen loved. She told me I should. Can you share the name?

  3. Mary Thompson says:

    That was so beautifully penned Kevin. Maybe someday Duane, you & I can hike that trail in Co. someday. So sorry that Karen is gone frm her physical body but not her spiritual one. She always loved the simple things in life. Ones especially that God put before us to see, enjoy & share. Thank you for sharing this with us. God bless.

  4. Brad says:

    It’s probably the point, but I read this I see you as the miner and the soldier now. I wonder, did you see yourself as those things 20yrs ago when you wrote it?

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