On my father’s farm
Everyone woke up early.
Warm quilts were cast aside for
The cold barn.
The cows were milked before dawn.
Fresh jars would line the
Cool and in transition.
“The cream always rises to the top!”
Dad would proudly state,
Holding the jar aloft for morning breakfast.
Mother would skim the cream off the top for puddings and fudge
A treat to be savoured when the hard work was done.
Like Sundays in the orchard;
The scent of apple pie and roast
Was as welcome as rain on the field.
Cream always rises to the top;
An expectation hung in the air.
To be more than a farmer’s son:
To escape the fickle nature of the land
And join the well clothed men who
Work by the clock
Not by the mercy of the seasons.
How was I to tell him
That I could not follow his dream?
My heart belonged to the land that
Had made me
And him before me
What we were.