Farm Poem 7

//Farm Poem 7

Farm Poem 7

The four year old, I am told,
Has been playing Farmer Forrest—
And Farmer Forrest is always in trouble.
Look! The cow is in the road.
Look! The pig is in the pasture.
Plastic figurines are hastily assembled,
The Fisher Price Farm Patrol scrambled
To the henhouse,
The meadow,
The roof of the barn, where,
In search of a perch,
The goat is on the weathervane,
In desperate need of assistants.

For non-toy farmers there are other troubles,
Matters of money & failure &
Family & temperament &
Chemistry & finance &
Relationships & interest &
Depression & false optimism &
Globalization & neighbors &
Pricing & health insurance &
Fair wages & injury &
Legal fees & climate change &
Mechanization & maintenance &
All before dawn,
All before the weather forecast,

Or coffee, or waking,
Or sleep for that matter.
Still, a plastic figurine,
With a plastic straw hat,
Painted-on overalls,
Is plunked on a pinkie
And conjured to life
With troubles of its own.
Problems are problems, after all.
Many miles away,
At the caffeine shop in town,
The mother asks her daughter,
“What does the cow say?”

“Good! And what does the hen say?”
“Yes! And what does the piggy say?”
“Oink, oink, oink!”
So energetic; so willing!
Yet this list will run on,
Run out, before anyone will ever ask,
“What does the farmer say?”
Because none of us know;
None of us knows to ask—
Discarded on the floor,
Surrounded by enormous chickens,
Diminutive cattle,
A flock of proportionate lambs at scale,

Farmer Forrest’s expression is laser-etched,
A black line bemused,
Something intended as a smile.
What does the farmer say?
Something intended as a smile.
Then, look!

By | 2019-03-12T08:39:03-04:00 March 11th, 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. Gina Faber March 12, 2019 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I’m just loving the poetry, Forrest. Keep it coming.

  2. ellen polishuk March 30, 2019 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    yep, interesting that your toy Forrest is for sure smiling. And who is that lovely blond woman? perhaps she is the “real” farmer? red dress and all. Oh golly, so much there to work with.
    and really nobody does ask the farmers.

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