A Farmer’s Son, Age 11, Plows 6 Acres – 4 p.m. by Greg German

Blunt as horse’s breath,GGeman 270px

heat, boiler room hot

laced with diesel smoke,

wraps off the tractor’s engine

and hones the child

from his face. Dust,

settled onto his bare back,

is squeezed into his shoulders

by a fat-bellied sun. Tasteless

now, the water warm, his jug

half empty, everything

is against him; rain clouds

are nowhere. The land evolves

into a battlefield, the plow

a dictator. Each shrunken

round becomes larger

than the last; each minute

is an hour. Red-tail hawks, kites

suspended in the wind, rotate

across a prairie-sized sky.

Introduced to endless,

the farmer’s son is angry,

sacrificed by his father,

taken by the land.

~ Greg German

Previously Published in Wind, 1998, Fall, # 81/82

Greg German was born and raised near Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, where he farmed with his family for many years. He currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife Regina and son, Alden. He is a private consultant specializing in technical communication, web site development, free-lance writing and photography. He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University. Previously, Greg has taught high school English and, creative writing at both the high school and college levels. He also developed and maintains www.kansaspoets.com — a website unique to Kansas Poets. Greg’s poetry and personal essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals across the U.S.

Kelly W. Johnston, guest editor, is a life-long Kansan, who was born in Lawrence in 1955, and graduated from Wichita State in 1977 with a major in creative writing. He has published poems in Mikrokosmos, The Cottonwood Review, and The Ark River Review. He will publish two poems in the up-coming 2016 issue of The I-70 Review. Kelly loves to spend time on his land in the Chautauqua Hills near Cross Timbers State Park, where many of his poems are inspired.

2 thoughts on “A Farmer’s Son, Age 11, Plows 6 Acres – 4 p.m. by Greg German

  1. Nice Greg. I remember those days! Yup. Angry is about the only word. Angry land angry sun angry youngster. And if not plowing, there were hot afternoons along those rows, swinging a machete at sunflowers or assorted others baleful weeds.

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