Just To Bad

His denim shirt is so threadbare it’s almost white.
Frayed at the collar and cuffs.
Dirt and grease fill the creases of his knuckles
and the spaces under his fingernails.

As he looks over the field that yesterday held corn,
he thinks about his father and grandfathers before him.
They did most of their farming with
back breaking labor and their own two hands.

He takes his toothpick out of his mouth and thinks
about his children. They’ve all moved away,
earning their money in the city. They’ll never know
farmings joys and sorrows. He heads for home.

Farming is kind of like pulling the handle
on an old slot machine. You put in your money
and hope for the best. But you just never know.
As he walks he thinks, yeah, kind of like gambling.

When it’s time to quit, he’ll have to sell.
His family has been here for 125 years, and
his kids will never know how rewarding this is.
And that’s too bad, he thinks. Just to bad.

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