On Coming Home To The Farm

Remembering a sunny July day
On a freshly turned field.
With a tractor idling forward and
Dragging grandpa’s old stone boat.

I followed along as the sun grows high
Roasting my pale skin brown.
Many hours pass by in endless furrows
With cool earth between my toes.

Quartzite cracked by weather
And tumbled by glacier drift
Buried deep in Dakota Prairie
Then squeezed up from their rest.

Rocks lifted by many seasons
Then tugged from the ground
Carried a short distance
And tossed into the skid.

The engine cracked and rumbled
Misfiring under choke
The flywheel kept a rhythm
While the tractor slowly lurched along.

Water crocks wrapped in burlap
Kept mostly in the shade.
Heavenly liquid provisions,
Were sipped slowly throughout the day.

When the load got too heavy
We climbed aboard the rocks
Headed to a slough bed
And tossed them to the edge.

Through years of toil the pile would grow
And sheltered forms of life
Fox roamed among the cracks
Some dug a family’s den.

The prairie sky keeps shinning down
And it seems the days are hotter
I walk the field and look around
And see more rocks need picking.

– Clarence Holm

2 thoughts on “On Coming Home To The Farm

  1. Picking rocks!! A new crop comes up every spring, so it’s a never-ending chore on a farm with glacial drift. We do have some beauties next to our step that were saved through the years. Two favorites discovered while picking are a small hand-held scraping tool used by the Ojibwe women who lived here long ago and a perfect spherical “grindstone,” that had to be found at the bottom of potholes formed by being caught in a whirlpool of glacial meltwater 10,000 years ago! It makes me wonder if it was carried in someone’s pocket from the Taylor Falls area.

    • We had a pasture near our original family farm than was next to a hill and a slough. the indians camped there for many generations before the white’s moved in. When it rained or wind blew really hard, we found lots of arrow heads, flint flinchings and stone axe heads on the hillside. I’m sure it has been put to corn and ploughed under since I lived there.

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