Most of my life I stayed away from the family farm.
Whenever I visited the family put me to work.
This is why I, a magic marker salesman, know
how to milk a dairy cow by hand.
My family on the farm has heard of the Covid pandemic.
They think of it as the nineteen-eighteen influenza redo.
Three of the goats amble in and out of the house.
They like to lie down on the guest room floor when I nap.
Grandfather sustains a quarter acre of prairie.
It reminds him of what his grandfather plowed under.
When I visit I think of my stay as a prison sentence
for psych-patients learning calm from animals and sweat.
All the poems I write while visiting I collect into a folder.
A label on the folder says Memoir written in magic marker.
After each farm stay, I am a bit more callused on the hands.
This does not stop me from writing a thank you note.
I post the thank you note near midnight.
I do this so my friends do not see me appreciate my family.
This way I can complain about the sunflower
that stares in the window when I exit the shower naked.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney