A Brave Farmer Goes to the Bank — By Greg German

–farmer–/’farm r/n 1: a person

who pays a fixed sum for some privilege

or source of income 2: a person who cultivates land

or crops or raises livestock 3: YOKEL, Bumpkin —

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981


He parks right out front

where his neighbor’s mud

has hardened

onto the asphalt,

and walks

straight to the bank’s thick glass

door. The door is placed

to reflect everyone’s image,

and the farmer sees his T-shirt

is untucked. The door is easy

to open. It shouldn’t matter.

The banker is his friend,

and behind a plowshare-styled smile

that can’t break crust,

he welcomes the farmer

with interest. They both fake it.

A mystic, the banker pulls

his pile of paper, from somewhere,

and begins to read the future.

The farmer is afraid,

and imagines himself swallowed

by the chair that holds him.

He is paying for his life

with his life. He leaves

the building with the mystic’s fee

printed on pink, and feels the stiffness

of the concrete

move into his knees,

proving that he is not ageless.

~ Greg German

Originally Published Kansas Quarterly, 1993 V.24, #4

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 web site development, special project consulting, and photography. (www.limestone9consulting.com) He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University.  Greg 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.

James Benger is a father, husband and writer. His work has been featured in several publications. He is the author of two fiction ebooks: Flight 776 (2012) and Jack of Diamonds (2013), and two chapbooks of poetry: As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016) and You’ve Heard It All Before (GigaPoem 2017). He is a member of the Riverfront Readings Committee in Kansas City, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online poetry workshop and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.


One thought on “A Brave Farmer Goes to the Bank — By Greg German

  1. So good. Paying for life with life. Banker as wizard. Welcome with interest, the percentage kind, not the hi friend what’s new kind.

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