Farm Boy (poem)

I watch you bundle up and trudge out
to feed and water your livestock.
You miss milk cows and a dog named Shep.
On just under an acre, our substitute in the suburbs,
you fill the heated birdbath, replenish nine feeders
with sunflower and niger seed. You notice me
at the window. I wave. You grin
and strew store-bought corn to stocky squirrels.


  1. Brings back memories. My grandfather had a border collie named Shep. I loved to watch him herd the Jersey milk cows. Your poem also reminds me, sadly, of days after my grandfather retired, and more recently, his pastures were turned into a subdivision and the property owners had their “substitutes in the suburbs,” tiny backyard tomato plots pretending to be gardens.

    • We have 3/4 acre here, Dennis, so we’ve been blessed. I wrote this in 2005. These days, the size is just about right.

      I just realized that is Blog Post #500!

  2. Congrats on reaching that milestone! And I understand the “just about right” part. We have 1/2 acre–and it’s taking me longer and longer to get everything mowed, trimmed–and then everything cleaned up and put away! But I’m still an agrarian at heart. (BTW, that’s a project on which I’m working right now–the Vanderbilt Fugitives, the Agrarian movement, and their values with applications to the present. A publisher has expressed an interest in considering the manuscript when it’s finished. I’m struggling to complete the endnotes and reference numbers even now.)

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