Over the last week of the year, my mother and father were generous enough to mind the farm so that Claire and I could take some much needed time off with some friends out in East TN. My mom spent some time turning her thoughts on the experience to poetry and was kind enough to let me share them here.
Arrive before sunset.
Marvel at the pecking order of the hens
hopping in for the night.
Singing “Good night Ladies”
As the peace of Saulsbury
descends upon my soul.
I greet the day before the sun.
Chores done in tandem with my farming partner.
Eggs fresh from the coop for breakfast.
Driving to town for supplies.
Note to self: Never run out of milk!
Stray cats fight before dawn.
Wind rattles the roof.
Rain in my boots left carelessly on the porch.
Feeding the flock in a warm December downpour.
Returning home to no power.
Cold cereal does not a hearty breakfast make.
Yesterday was t-shit weather.
Today I need a hat and gloves.
Yesterday there was energy to spare
And I carried water effortlessly to the field.
Today, I doubt I can lift even one bucket.
But the animals remain unmoved by my plight.
And I know there is no reprieve for farmers.
Day 5 On Counting Chickens
“Mom, if you can, get a count of the chickens”
Is that a farmer joke?
“Of course, son,” I replied in earnest.
Now I’m sure too soon I spoke.
I’ll try counting them this morning.
As our in the field they feed.
How they shift with speed!
Perhaps I can count tail feathers?
Tiny pyramids perched to the sky…
But now a rooster comes calling
And hens begin to fly.
There are hens and roosters a plenty.
To this I can testify.
But I could not count your chickens, son.
Though I gave it my best try.
I’m sorry I missed your dad
Clad in Claire’s boots
Prancing through the chickens
Like a rooster among the hens.