Bits and Pieces by Arlin Buyert

image001I hear our John Deere tractor,

feel sister Berdie’s hand wash my back,


hear echoes of the northbound train,

smell Dad’s bib overalls,


hear Tippie bark at the egg man,

see Grandpa walk the cows,


hear pigeons coo in the cupola,

feel the bite of winter’s wind,


hear Mom sing a Dutch psalm,

taste dust on my lips.


Corn crib, tool shed, chicken coop,

hog house, apple orchard, rose garden,


water pump, willow tree, windmill –



I walk the old farm,

a barren black-earth story and find


a ceramic chip from a plate,

a rusted iron gear, and a broken cup


askance in dirt, lost souls waiting.

~ Arlin Buyert

Arlin Buyert was born and raised on an Iowa farm and educated at Macalester College and The University of Minnesota. He has published three books of poetry and his most recent book Oh Say Can You See was a Thorpe Menn Award finalist in 2015. He has also edited two anthologies of inmate poetry entitled Open to the Sky, Volumes 1 and 2). His poems have been published in the Rockhurst Review, Coal City Review, and others. Arlin lives in Leawood, Kansas with his wife Kris Kvam.

Maril Crabtree spent her childhood in Memphis and grew up in New Orleans, but married a Kansas boy five decades ago and considers herself a full-bred Kansan by now. She writes and edits poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, DMQ Review, Spank the Carp, Canyon Voices, and others. Her latest chapbook is Tying the Light (2014); some of her work can be seen at


6 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces by Arlin Buyert

  1. That is a great remembrance. I also grew up on a farm and can relate to that poem. You expressed your thoughts and memories very well. Thank you for sharing it.

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