Recently I decided to try writing poems about a few family members. Months ago on this blog I published a poem about my Grandmother along with the marriage photo of her and my grandfather, who was so much older than she (22 years) that I never knew him at all. In June I posted photos of the trip I took back to Missouri where I grew up. While a few things remained the same, I felt very sad about some changes and kept thinking how my dad must feel if he were watching. He died in 1996, lived in the same house for 80 years and on the same farm all his life. He labored long and hard to make the homeplace beautiful.
The house where he was born
Only the old carriage house stands.
The young man who farms the land cannot bear to tear it down.
The ancient burr oaks and black walnuts
bulldozed into waste piles or sold for greed.
The house he lived and loved in for eighty years
still stands on land his family owned for more than 100.
Strangers live there:
He sees the well trimmed lawn,
new picket fence,
The pond he proudly built and stocked with fish reflects the summer sun.
The tree filled park between the pond and house
He wonders why someone would destroy such beauty.
The walnut grove where he ran cattle
The pond where his grandson caught the giant turtle
plowed over and planted to corn and soybeans.