This poem is one I've written and rewritten, changed titles and almost discarded. But I have kept it and I'll share it today. The farmer is my late father who'd rather plant and grow than eat the fruit of his labors.
Farmer and His Dog
Once he cultivated vast acres, harvested bounteous crops.
Grey haired now, in a frayed lawn chair,
sweat staining his chambray shirt, pock-marked
with burn holes from his Pall Malls, he caresses
silky ears of Pat, his bulldog.
His stooped frame rests from a morning spent
spraying tomatoes, trying to murder small bugs
that battle him for his harvest.
Tall corn tassels. Green beans climb twine
strung on poles in rows equally distanced.
Piles of summer squash strewn on clean straw
hide under leaves large as sun hats.
The cigarette ash grows long. He hardly notices
the shortened smoke, the fire against his calluses.