Craig J. Hansen

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Last Day On the Farm

The old farmer walks out to the barn
The cows that were there are gone
And the machinery he will leave behind
Is parked in a row neat and long

Nothing is planted
The hay is not mown
It nearly breaks his heart
This farm is all he’s ever known
And they will be apart.

Jenny, his wife, died three years ago
The cancer took her away
She was sure it was all that chemical spray
He told her again and again
Everything they did was safe
Now he is standing
Alone in the barn
His life as empty as this space.

He bought a small house over in town
Made some money by selling the farm
He’s not used to having people around
And to trade a farm for a yard.

His kids went to college and never came home
There’s nothing new in that
His siblings had wanted no part of the farm
Not wear a farmers hat.

He still has some old friends that he can meet
There are some folks at the church that he knows
They like to talk about the past
But amid all that coffee and talk
He worries the diner will close
And he will be standing
Alone in the yard
Waiting for time to pass

This small town now looks like an old folks home
Most of the young are long gone
But they welcome the young folks who sometimes appear
With the dream of an organic farm.

©2023 Craig Hansen