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Leaving the Farm

Leaving the Farm David J Walker I “At the end of the day” they keep saying At the end of the day A prepositional phrase followed by unsupported speculation When everything is considered, At the End of the Day, is A simple idiot with an idiom and nothing to say My father said sitting quietly At the end of the day, smoking Speculating about our future II What time does the clock strike late afternoon? Is it just before early evening? Is it marked by sundial sunsets sometime Before dark? We knew, my father and me, as we left the fields Headed home in the summer’s heat Watching the sun dip into the west just beyond The hood ornament of the pick-up truck Even with the windows rolled down The wind and the whine of the road Could not drown out the sound Of our growling bellies There would be beans and cornbread waiting Maybe Spam, But not meat III Clever, the ways to irrigate And turn a desert into a farm Hard, was the work to care for the Rows of cotton and maze that would be harvested for our money, maybe Some years it worked But for many, it did not There was no way for anyone to say Which it would be There were tractors bought on credit And the banks still had to be repaid IV The men in the middle Were always invisible though we Knew they wore expensive suits While we wore jeans and boots Before school began each year Mom would buy me two new pair Of Levi’s from the department store on the square They would last the whole year if Her predictions of my growth Was close. V I can never forget The day we left Lea County Cold and gray on February 10th, 1966 In a grain truck bound for Lubbock Dad bought a horse he thought he Could turn to earn enough money For gas and rent Starting over was possible Staying was not

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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