Poetry of Kansas

Farmland People

We are a farm people--tillers of the Land--
We have been so for generations
and the psychology of the farm is ingrained within us.
There is nothing new on the farm
We know it all so intimately
The long, unending hours,
The sweaty, smelly shirts and overalls, and
The mortgaged machinery.
Let me tell you of the way it feels
To drag on at twilight after a full day in
the field-hot, sticky and full of chaff!
To shower in the coal shed and
To sit on the doorstep
rubbing aching feet and numb ankles
Awaiting the call to eat the re-heated evening meal.
Yes, on the Prairie Plains, farm life
was more intense, void of a variety of
scenery and occupation than anywhere
else in America!
The land was rich and redolent with pulsating life
As the soil sat ready for the hungry ploughman
Which in this "miracle of progress" was the "unerring"
prophet: that called down the life-giving
waters upon the land!
No, not by magic or incantations but
in the honest sweat of his brow
toiling with his hands, man,
in a concert of human energy,
persuades the heavens to drop its
dew and rain upon the parched land
he has chosen for his dwelling place.

Sister Madeleine Kisner, A.S.C.
(Wichita: privately published. 2005)
Used by permission of the poet

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June 1, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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