The Dollar (What Will You Make It Say?) and The Family Farmer

the leaves have fallen
the corn has been gathered
winter is over the horizon

the barn, the silo, the crib
holders of the investment
more likely not the profit

            *************

boots by the lounge chair
family farmer is sleeping
tired from the toil and labor

it is a tired-ness he welcomes though–
different than the tired-ness of working
     the other punch-the-clock, full-time job
     he works to pay the bills
different than the tired-ness of dealing
     with the vision-less developer
     calling weekly
different than the tired-ness of tacitly 
     fighting a future that is designed
     to extinct him–
the tired-ness from working the fields is
welcomed because it is honest

          **********

driving through bucolicy
a gentle wave of hello
sun shines over barren fields

i am warmed wholely
soon to be overtaken by
sadness and melancholy

and then, by anger

            **********

“save the farms,” say the city folk,
     say the academics, say the politicos
why do we not hear, “save the family farmer”
why do we not hear, “save the family farming
     way of life”
why do we not hear, “save agrarian culture”
why do we not hear, “current agriculture policy
     is not agri-cultural at all”
 
what good is the “saved” farm
     without the farmer
who will be here to nurture
     the “saved” farmland
how will the “saved” farmland
     be farmed

will it be cared for intimately
will it be walked with careful steps
will it be planted with good intention
will it be harvested and sold locally
 
         **********

seems too big to stop
“the way things are”
if only i had millions
but don’t, so be active

buy local, buy sustainable,
buy organic, buy from
farmer’s markets

“it costs more”
not always, and hey
“there is always a
price to pay”
a price for losing
a price for winning

the dollar speaks
the dollar speaks
the dollar speaks

what will you make it say

(written 16 November 2003)

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