Farm Poem 10

//Farm Poem 10

Farm Poem 10

We notice the obvious,
Ostentatious: the seam in the beam
In the barn is flagitiously askew,
Nine hundred pounds of hanging death.

That’ll get our attention!
On a farm where we patch it and prop it,
Forever a rend to mend,
We’ll fix it, yes—lest two centuries

Of brick and mortar and timber
Come rumbling tumbling down. Naturally.
To build up, however, we must
Build down. We dig.

Manure, more manure, manure more,
Clay, stones, subsoil, where, near bottom,
The shovel tinks a single glassy note
And in the shadows I spy the bottle,

Buried how long, this deep,
Below the sun, the frost-line, our
Reasonable expectations?
Hold it against the sky.

Oh, bottle! We know you instantly.
Corked with corrosion,
Filled with murky liquid,
While others speculate

—Is it bromide? Whiskey? Iodine?—
We don’t have to guess;
We’ve been waiting to pay attention,
Distracted entire lifetimes,

Promised that this jewel,
If properly polished,
Will perfume the air with smoke, and
Someday soon, someday will at last arrive.

By | 2019-04-01T21:19:53-04:00 April 1st, 2019|Farm|4 Comments

About the Author:

Forrest Pritchard is a full-time sustainable farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding a BA in English and a BS in Geology from William & Mary. Smith Meadows, his farm, was one of the first “grass finished” operations in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in the Washington DC area for two decades. Pritchard's books have received starred reviews from The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, NPR, and more.


  1. Caroline Klam April 2, 2019 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Thank you for the poems – they make me think, celebrate, reflect – what a gift. Peace, ck

  2. Jeff Vincent April 2, 2019 at 9:35 am - Reply


    Beautiful. That moment of discovery — could be an old bottle, a pottery sherd, a 1943 penny, a rusted hair clip — is something magical. Susan and I used to call each of our little finds a “treasure.” They were mini-mysteries and a respite from the work at hand (usually digging in an old garden or flower bed). No, the work is never done. But there are moments that bring a smile and brighten the day.


    p.s. – You sent me to the dictionary for flagitiously.”

    • Forrest Pritchard May 7, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Ha! Yes, I can be found at the dictionary several times daily 🙂

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