Of course
a centennial farm has history!
memories scattered across a century
Each field has pictures
snapped and kept
in someone’s mind, to savor, ponder

My 80, she called it
Ida Augusta Bialeschki
who married a hard working guy
Alfred Warfel was very well known
as a premier hard worker, smart
Why, he could shuck a hundred
ears of corn in a day
working from dawn to dusk
A trader, par excellence
of anything to do with a farm

The east 80
lies east to west
along the Sadorus road
a little rolling, some flat spots
ponding is a problem
dark soil and lighter
you know a glacier was there
by rocks, found annually
rising from winter’s freezing, heaving

As a little lad
I worked with grandpa
forking up the hay
riding the hay rack home
Grandpa was fond of contests
races, if you will,
like when me and Francis (Butler)
tried to beat him
pulling millet
one end of the field to the other
Grandpa won, just barely
I think he strung us along!

The east end
held a school
gone before my time
except for well, standing alone
complete with pump and handle
Time was, grandpa plowed
round and round he went
stopping each round
to pump some water
for a leaky, ailing tractor
Awesome, his persistence
to save a nickel or dime

Cousin Dale and I
too little to lift a bale alone
would work together hoisting
a bale of hay up to the wagon
finally getting a load
Hard work, but we did it
laughing all the way
with grandpa loving us

With grandpa’s passing
a hedge row went
a bull dozer worked for days
Osage orange burns so hot
snapping and popping
sparks flying, fire roaring
all the trees were gone.
A life cycle completed
grandma and her sisters
watered the little trees
great grandpa planted
to break the wind
make a fence
yield longest lasting posts
For 60 years they did that
then went away for good
Four more rows of corn
where thorny trees once stood

My older kids remember
starting their farming there
learning about inputs
in order to have outputs, yields
marketing corn and beans

A year ago a feller
rode a scraper moving
back and forth
back and forth
carrying, distributing
carving out a path
for water to get away, smoothly
The curvy pathway marked in green
will let the water flow
let the crops grow nicely
and hold the soil so precious

Now I’ve farmed it 40 years
and this year’ll mark a generation
grandsons helping me
pick up rocks
like me and grandpa
and Francis Butler

Selah, Lin 1/2012