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Old Homesteads

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Old Homesteads

Passing thru' the farmlands,
my mind begins to roam
for along the way we travel
lie abandoned, country homes.

Weather-beaten, gray and leaning,
often twenty miles from town,
I wonder how they're standing,
why they haven't tumbled down.

Rock foundations old and crumbling,
all the windows broken out,
peeling paint and floral paper
droop from walls, I have no doubt.

Families settled in these places 
in days that long have past.
Were they determined people 
facing up to any task?

How many children born there
with no doctor to attend,
just neighbor helping neighbor,
giving comfort to a friend?
I envision fields of ripe grain
blowing freely in the wind,
waiting for the harvest
to be cut and gathered in.

Cattle that were grazing
in meadows wet with dew,
orchards on the hillside
where fruits of plenty grew.

Father toiling endless hours
from dawn till fading light,
never stopping but for meals,
feeling weary-worn each night.

Children laughing, playing games
made up in days of old,
not minding change of season,
summer heat, nor winter cold.

Did they study by the fieplace,
or light the kerosene
to read the family bible,
the message there to glean?

Were there deaths and sorrows
within those walls and beams,
or did they just give up the land,
forget about their dreams?

Why would they leave those places,
where did they choose to go,
were they broken by the hardships
of life struggles, pain, and woe?

Artists scenes are left to capture,
and I hope that they will show, 
the years and untold stories
of those homesteads long ago.

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