Wrapped in Yellow Grains

My 1600s ancestors were farmers
who wanted to plow land
with their name on the title.

My three-times-great-grandfather
crossed the Atlantic
for upstate New York.

My great-great-grandfather
moved the family to Illinois
seven years before Lincoln.

My great-grandfather
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