Wizened by the hardships of his life
he moved his tired old body to the edge,
it took him longer to get out of his bed
these days, but get up he would
for if there was one thing he had learnt
it was that time spent in bed was time
lost in the fields and the crops didn’t pick
themselves, of that he thought he was sure,
though he couldn’t quite remember why.
He sometimes wished that he had not been
so adamant about farming in the old way
– a bit of that confounded modern machinery
would sure help sometimes as digging potatoes
across all those acres was hard work and he’d
been doing it for so long he was beginning to
hate the blasted things – he certainly
never ate them, preferring instead to eat all
his food from cans as a way of getting his
own back on some other poor so and so
who probably hadn’t broken his back
at harvest time for sixty years.
Dad – Dad – it’s Tom , Dad, your son, never mind
Dad, perhaps you’ll remember me later. It’s alright.
What potatoes? – It’s alright Dad, let’s sit here
and you can tell me – no please – please Dad,
don’t cry – please don’t cry. I know Dad
I miss Mum too. I wish I could explain Dad
I really do.
Why does this horrible man always keep me from my work,
I’ve got tomatoes – – potatoes to pick, tomatoes, potatoes,
well I’ve got to pick them anyway. Why should I sit down?
Tell you about what? I’m not going to tell a stranger
where my potatoes are, or is it tomatoes? I’m not sure now.
I must sleep – I’ve got lots to do, I must be fresh when I start.
Dad – Dad – you sleep now then. I’ll just be in the next room. Perhaps
– perhaps we’ll talk a bit later. I miss you Dad………….
©Joe Wilson – Difficult conversations 2014