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Back on July 2nd, I posted a poem called My Favorite Farmer.
I knew when I wrote it I would probably write about my favorite farmer again.

A man lived a long life, working the land he loved and died in his own bedroom, surrounded by his wife and children.

A fruitful harvest; may you and I be so fortunate.

The Harvest

The Pastor prays over him
as his children trickle in
He has fallen again, a hard night.
He slips away, one eye blink at a time.

There is stinging hardness in the air
as the November sun comes up over the stubble.
The combine hums and clanks.
She is just a few rows over.
She takes the kernels
and grinds the stalks, husks and cobs,
spitting them out on the receiving earth.

A white-tailed doe and a ring necked pheasant
flee between the stalks.
The end of the row turns on itself.
The hum is louder now.

His sister arrives to hugs.
My sister-in-law and I fry eggs and bacon.
After tears and coffee, the daughters clean and dust.
His brother arrives, more hugs and tears.

The Farmer's wife is at his side
as she has always been for sixty two years.
She is gracious and strong.
Her love is old and powerful.

A hospice worker visits
A hospital bed is delivered.
He rests comfortably

In the evening,
his wife and children are gathered around him
He passes quietly in his sleep.
He is harvested.
His daughter gently holds his slack jaw closed.
In a gesture of respect and reverence for the man,
I quietly wipe his feet with a damp cloth.
I will never smell freshly turned earth
without thinking of you, Leonard.

Originally posted to ruleoflaw on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 08:38 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Rebel Songwriters, Pink Clubhouse, and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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