Sunday, September 25, 2011


Editor's note: "A good many country folks look forward to the time when they can tear themselves away from the land and retire to an easier life in the city," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. "Giving up the old home place, however, is sometimes easier said than done. A good many strings have to be cut." Take it from someone who's been "downsizing" to a new home after close to 50 years in the old one, he's right!

So you saw my ad in the Times Gazette
Where I wanted to sell my farm? You bet!
I've had enough of this work and toil,
A-wringin' a livin' from out of the soil,
I'm a-gonna git me a place in town
Where me and Ma can settle down.

Is it good land, you ask me now,
My friend, you never will sink a plow
Into better dirt than this right here,
I've farmed it for better'n forty year,
And I ain't never had a failure yet,
When the season was dry, or when she was wet.

And you can see that them buildings ain't
A-needin' nothin' but a little paint,
And that there house, let me tell you,
Is hardwood timber through and through,
She's sound and solid in every way--
They sure don't build 'em like that today!

An' there's a good deep well that never goes dry,
An' that water's cold as ice in July,
And under the shade of them cottonwood trees,
On the hottest day there's always a breeze.
When we move to town, I do declare
I'm sure gonna miss this clean fresh air!

And yonder's the woods, where we used to roam
And pick wild flowers, when the kids was home,
And hickory nuts, and blackberries, too,
And the biggest mush-a-rooms that ever grew!
I tell you, mister, if Ma was well,
And could git around good, I wouldn't sell.

Me and Ma started housekeepin' here,
And we've worked together, year after year,
To pay off the mortgage, and to lay away
A little nest egg fer a rainy day--
If we was both still hearty and hale --
Aw shucks, mister, she ain't fer sale!

--Autumn Acres (1982)

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