Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by John Grey

Farmer's Third Son

The wind has had enough of the barn being in its path apparently.
A few angry roundhouse punches smashed one red wall in.

And it sure had no pity on cows and horses.
It twisted their hay like spaghetti on a fork,

then tossed it out into the bitter cold night.
And what it couldn't starve, it threatened to freeze to death.

Cows bellowed, horses whinnied helplessly.
If that wasn't enough, it fisted up under the eaves,

and pulverized the roof until it broke free.
Then came rain, heavy and blinding.

The wind may have swirled like madness
but it was the pitiful creatures that cried and kicked in panic.

The farmer ran out of the house in high boots and dressing gown.
His young strapping sons followed. His wife stood out the door

shouting "Anything I can do."
The fields needed the rain, that was a fact,

but not this much, and not of such malevolence.
I have visions of that night, drenched, determined men

leading horse and cow to makeshift shelter.
I was three months in my mother's stomach

but I heard the orders given, obeyed,
felt the duty, the hoofs and hard breaths of the common need.

If wind ripped my sides, rain pelted my skin red raw,
I had no doubt how this family would react.

Grim-faced, they would have gone out in the worst of weather,
braved the rubble of the barn, and saved the cows and horses.

BIO:  "My latest book is What Else Is There from Main Street Rag. I have been published recently in Agni, Worcester Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal."