My 1600s ancestors were farmers
who wanted to plow land
with their name on the title.
crossed the Atlantic
for upstate New York.
moved the family to Illinois
seven years before Lincoln.
was the last in the county
to purchase Mr. McCormick’s reaper.
My grandfather’s pickup
carried a star in the windshield
placed there by a thrown horseshoe.
My father was the first
to leave the farm for the city—
for a university education.
He returned to the farm regularly
but not to plow the land himself.
The farm village needed a dentist.
My father located his practice
in the city of his education—
which was Chicago.
My few visits to the farm in corn pollen season
twisted me into a bouquet of sneezes
and jaundiced my ancestral view of farm life.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney