Photo by Robert Woodward
Robert E. Lee’s statue was removed from its pedestal May 19, 2017.

Monuments of history
Set on pillars high
Glorifying accomplishments
Others vilify

Scar covered history
Festering just below.
Traces of bigotry
Paraded now for show.

Lessons from history
Remembrances justified.
Sacred pomp and ceremony
Mixed with self-righteous pride.

                                                     -Clarence Holm

When Pride Is All You Have

As dusk approaches in the rural Midwest, farmers grab their hats to go for a drive. “Gotta check the crops” my Grandpa would say as he drove slowly down the dusty gravel roads. It was a time tested tradition, a friendly competition to make sure you were the best.

Who had the staightest furrows, whose equipment was fastest, was under inspection… and judgement!

– Clarence Holm

Tractor furrows judged with a sociable squint,
Cast from trucks through window’s blueish tint.
Assessing neighbor’s and guaging the men,
Measuring their worth, checking at dawn and evening again

Pride is valued highly by those who worked the fields,
When no payments were given for all of their yields.
When what little you had was in your heart,
And effort and commitment held you apart.

Some men crack under the load
When fate filled them with forebode.
Dreaded thoughts of failure became all too real
As creditors brought accountants with no room for appeal

A man’s worth is more than a simple measure
Of one seasons work held hostage by some weather.
That’s why farmers work so hard each day,
To leave their best efforts on display.