The old farmer

April 27, 2017

He never takes his cap off,
it seems welded to his head.
The cowman reckons he wears it
even when he goes to bed.


He wears the same old jacket
in snow and summers sun.
His pockets are full of cough sweets
and a cartridge for his gun.


He wears faded moleskin trousers
with string around the waist.
He keeps a penknife and some matches
and a pound note just in case.


And his ancient moss green jumper
that's been darned up by his wife,
is the one he got at market
and he's kept it all his life.


His boots are worn and covered 
in dubbin from a tin.
They've seen him through some tough times
but now are wearing thin.


He can't stop a pig in a passage,
his legs are locked and bowed.
His back is bent by his farming
and all the fields he's ploughed.


His eyes are full of wisdom,
he has seen a lot of change.
He's never left the village
and some new folk think he's strange.


His hands are gnarled and curled up,
his face is lined and red.
He still likes to have a potter
with his old tools in his shed.


But behind the worn out body
is a man who loves the land.
who knows each tree and hedgerow,
though not everyone understands.


His instinct for his livestock
he didn't get from a book.
It's  from years of observation
whilst  leaning on his crook.


He's from a generation
that understood the need
to farm for the next generation
and for that we should pay heed.
Jan Millward©



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©Jan Millward, 2018

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