Monday, May 25, 2015

Gratitude Monday -- Poetic Memory Edition

Photo of Jocelyn II, courtesy Terry Utas
I grew up on a farm and it was pretty damned good. I am grateful for all I got to do and for the great memories of it.
Here's a poem that sorts it out better than a whole whack of description ever  could.


I am an old woman now.
I sit in the sun
and I remember.

I remember how the sun felt on my face
when I was young.
It feels the same today.

I sat under trees
or in them.
I climbed on the combine
and jumped off into the waiting arms of nothing.

I hung from the swingset by my knees for a
fresher view of the world.
And I threw rocks in the creek.

I rode my bike
and sometimes took it apart for fun.
I slept in freshly ploughed dirt
and swam in mud puddles.

I am an old woman now.
I sit in the sun and remember.
And I smile.


Jocelyn is my middle name.  When I was very young we had a jersey cow that I named Jocelyn. Using the name for the poem served as an anchor.
Several years cousin Terry offered her internet circle the chance to name the new ranch calves and I had the honour of naming the above calf Jocelyn.

As for being an old woman, I am not even close. That's straight up poetic licence, that is.


solarity said...

Evocative. I did most of that, except for sleeping in fresh-plowed dirt. I don't think I ever slept outdoors after I was old enough to walk. I climbed around on a lot of farm machinery (on other people's farms) but I never jumped off. I really regret being born too late to jump off a hayloft into a hay wagon--bales are too solid.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Mary Anne, good on you. I jumped out of the hayloft onto hard ground. I like your idea better.

the Bag Lady said...

That is a lovely poem, cousin. I remember doing a lot of that stuff right along with you!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, cousin. It was a fine, fine time.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful, Leah. As I read it, I could see it all…some of it was me, some of it was you. Beautiful!

Leah J. Utas said...

Why thank you, Kimberley.

Red said...

I also grew up on a farm and will never forget the experience of sun, wind, freedom...

messymimi said...

You are not old, and you have wonderful memories for both now and for when you are older. At this time, you are still adding tons of new ones to them!

Nice calf.

Leah J. Utas said...

Red, farms are great places to grow up.

Messymimi, I sure am. Thanks.

Barbara Martin said...

Thankfully my family had many cousins who were farmers, with whom I spent portions of summer with...enjoying their labours of cow milking (by hand) although they did have the automated milking machines. One cow needed hand milking as she wouldn't have anything to do with them. And others had wheat and oat farms. Farmers are the true foundation of this country, and I'm gald they're there.

Very nice poem, Leah.