Poem: Working Farms

Working Farms

It is a working farm far from pristine.
It will never find itself on a post card
or centerfold of “Yankee” magazine.
The paint is wearing thin.
There is a rusted combine in the back
next to ancient plows.

It smells. Manure. Part of the gig.
Fertilizer for the corn. Nothing wasted.
In the early morning,
piles of the stuff steam in the morning.

Chickens run loose and wild.
Raucous dancers, they come to roost in the evenings,
when food appears and they no longer
have to peck and poke around for it.
The miracle is that they live,
coyote bait that they are. But live they do,
scattered spots of color.

There are sheep in the field. Cows in the barn.
They are dirty. Slow. They too, smell.
At night they make noise, crying out.
For what, you do not know.
In time, you get accustomed to the noise
and sleep through it.
Only visitors notice.
Half a dozen beehives sit on cinderblocks
in the back. “

MIlk and wool and corn and eggs.
Honey too. In the late winter, the trees are tapped.
Miles of blue tubing in the woods, filter down,
are boiled down in an orgy of sweet steam, until….
syrup.

It is not pretty. But magic happens. Every day.
It is a working farm.

About this poem

Farms abound around me here in Southern Vermont. So the poem is about them. And about most of us, messy lives and all, who produce love and magic and art. We too are working farms.

Tom

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