Old Farmer's Last Song
Inhale the damp smell of lifeless sod step for step without any help
Holding fast a stubborn plow hoping to reap a prideful harvest someway, somehow.
The fear climbs upon my aching spine wishing that widow Lawrence was secretly mine
I dream that dream from sun up to dusk sowing good seeds, but eating the husk.
No sleep to speak, dreading cock's crow the mindless fowl torments my fading soul
My wife passed ten years back so I don my burlap and ashes to pains untold.
She walked the steps that I should have walked singing, laughing and throwing dust at me
Wondering why she had to die and why it wasn't in turn for me.
Ol' Moses, let's do one more row, just one short row
And you and I to our victuls will silently go.
Empty house with shadows of her talking from another place
While I weep and caress her angelic face.
The farm is gone I plow with hope, faith, and peace
Having one hold onto "that" one September to pay my lease.
Oh forsaken neighbors who found running so right
Leaving me alone to beg, stomp, curse and keep up the fight.
Step for step and clod for clod I noticed Ol' Moses growing weary
Old age hits him like me, both us old hands drowinng in misery.
She sits at row's end smiling at my sweaty shirt
Tossing a handful of freshly-plowed that forgotten dirt.
Word for word gramps was right when he said
Work hard in silence while breathing until your death.
With nothing to take and nothing to leave
Helping the Master's tapestry to finally weave.
Ol' Moses knows that "this" be near his end
I know too that "this" be my last row and be steady 'til my bend.
Unhitching Ol' Moses as he looks at me with eyes of fear
I pat his neck, his faithful neck, and we both seek our new ground a ways from here.
This be it, Ol' Moses my friend. You helped me from dusk 'til dark
Now it's your turn to get your reward and very high mark.
But me? I will walk my last walk to last row's end
For it is my end and the end for you, old friend and me.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery