We had water enough for play in furrows
with scraps of wood, leaves for sails,
regattas on rivers pumped from underground.

All the magic that children take for granted
swirled to the hum of electricity, twenty-horse
pumps like Buddhas squat in orchard rows

my father farmed for wagonloads of fruit
ripe for the rail, packed by women’s hands
for the road on diesel trucks to distant places.

His silhouette crosses deep within vineyard rows,
early morning, late afternoon, hoe in hand—
his pirate’s cutlass, swashbuckling open-topped

overshoes—checking water, irrigating grapes
at seventy, or so I think at sixty-eight, knowing
now what drew him to the earth he farmed.


12 responses to “MY FATHER FARMING

  1. Peter Notehelfer

    very nice eulogy for your father . . . Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandparents farmed and I remember with joy the time we spent on the farm as children. Of course, we had all the fun and not all the hard work, but we were close to the earth and life there.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this one, John. You paint a wonderful word picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your father as the pirate on your imagined river–very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. laurie and greg

    We see you all sharp and clear, 60 years ago. Another vivid slice of life saved and shared. Thank you.


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