Death Knell for the Family Farm by Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall 001I bid farewell to the season of my childhood

Proud limestone house defended me from nature’s rages

Scent of Grandma’s lilacs filtered through my bedroom window

Stutterstart of rusted McCormick tractor protested early morning chores

Wheat fields swayed in rhythm to Kansas wind


My brief homecomings startle me


Roofs sag under the burden of years

Wild sunflowers flood the land and spread victory over silent machines

Cattle roam among skeletal remains of once-pampered bushes

Blank stares from hollow windows haunt the landscape

Turtle doves take flight, mourn the loss

~ Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall grew up on  a  family farm near Olmitz, Kansas. Her writings include “Prairie Meals and Memories,” a memoir cookbook focusing on family farm life, named one of the Best 150 Books of Kansas. She has also written for the Chicken Soup series, The Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor and several other publications. She lives in Shawnee, Kansas.

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 poetry and creative nonfiction and her poems have appeared in I-70 Review, DMQ Review, Spank the Carp, and others. Her latest chapbook is Tying the Light (2014); some of her poems can be seen at

2 thoughts on “Death Knell for the Family Farm by Carolyn Hall

  1. Very touching and I relate. I was born and raised on an Iowa farm and my grandparents first settled in Osborne County, just a bit north of your farm.

  2. Carolyn, I am enjoying your beautiful, haunting, stoic poem. You infused it with images, metaphor, memory and meaning.

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