farmers, Neil Reid

farmers
by Neil Reid

life on the farm is a practical life.

I mean you’re practically bare, just you
and the dirt, and yea, the blessings of
sky, the curses of blights. or maybe no.
maybe you just grow dirt.

some of us clean and straighten olding
rusting nails. any waste is food missing
from your plate.

but mostly, practically, you just work,
work and wait. blossoms come brief.

mostly, practically, you just start
things out, leaning in with a shove.
then wait and watch for the wheel
to turn. it’s hard work. even doing
nothing is labor’s slow rhyme.

yea, sometimes it’s amusing like
when cows chase an old worn tire
down the hillside slope. or when
uncle slips, falls into the pond and
comes dripping back into the house.
although we try not to laugh, not
too much. we each take a share
that way.

and when things go bad or ill or
broke, like when the cat gets sick,
you make a bed from an old blanket,
hope for the best, take what you get.
tell the children, don’t get attached.
you don’t spend on what don’t grow
the crops. practical bones.
maybe us too.

and maybe that’s some part why
we gave up the farm, chasing tires
down the hill.

Neil Reid writes poems when things make sense to him. That don’t happen just every day. He likes poems that perhaps learn something along the way. Something practical. But then sometimes he just writes something altogether different. Poems should be real, he’s pretty sure of that. Except sometimes.

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2 thoughts on “farmers, Neil Reid

  1. I loved reading this. You didn’t glamorize or demonize life on a farm but in a light, almost offhand way, with humor, you reveal the hardship and the satisfaction of this life. I esp. liked the next to last verse.

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