“Life Is a Small Family Farm Going Out of Business or Maybe It’s Just the Auction” by Peter Kaufmann, published in The Round Whisper of No Moon, released in November 2022, has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.
Please enjoy the poem, and feel free to leave a comment.
Life Is a Small Family Farm Going Out of Business
or Maybe It’s Just the Auction
You will try and try again,
slowly the machinery will break down.
The old rust colored tractor, held together with bailing wire
will keep running, tires cracked as chapped lips.
The wheat still sprouts green and forever each spring,
which come more often now.
The banker’s shadow appears on the side of the barn
leaning with the prevailing wind,
like the row of cypress trees
that line the dirt road.
The neighbors sold out.
No one knows the new owners, who will not live there.
The auction is scheduled,
all your years priced to sell,
the stamps patiently collected, 40 cents on the dollar.
Someone will argue over the Indian basket
you decide to keep at the last minute.
Someday kids will look through the windows,
maybe salvage the 6-paners or decide to move in,
clean out the squirrel nests and porcupine shit,
where they will find your old spatula with the wooden handle
and your old love letters,
leaving the calendar on the wall
with the picture of a farmer’s wife
holding a jar of preserves,
hair held back in a polka-dotted scarf.