Clyde loves his farm
And he loved his wife Ellie.
He works long hours,
His farm more than viable.
He is comfortable now.
The years of battling
Learning the land
Understanding the elements,
Has paid off.
He strides across the home paddock,
Opens the old wooden gate and allows
Anxious cattle to move
To a new feed lot.
He sits on a log near the fence.
Rolls himself a smoke, taking in the morning air.
His blue cattle dog,
Is now dozing at his feet.
He grins, nudges her with his foot
She responds by pricking her ears
Opening one eye then slowly closing back to slumber.
Clyde has a reputation around the district
He is a no nonsense spades are spades man.
He works hard and he plays hard
He was feared on the football field.
Now he is older, a little more mellow
No longer does he fly off the handle
When an obstacle confronts him
His Ellie had much to do with that
A gentle and loving soul
She was his perfect match.
Today he has a job in the south paddock.
He mounts his bay quarter horse,
Whistles to the dog
Trots off to the south.
It is just on dawn, the sun has poked its head
Over the eastern hill,
Long spidery fingers of heat
Sneak their way down into the valley.
He enjoys this time of day, peaceful, tranquil,
Time stands still for him, no rush
The day’s chores can wait,
He rides along the well-worn track.
He listens as the kookaburras
Laugh their greeting to the new day
Watches the magpies as they strut
Amongst trees and broken branches.
He admires the patch of wild bush flowers
The pink Dancing Queens and bush daisies
Always in bloom at this time of year.
Stops, walks amongst the riot of colour,
Gathering a rough posy,
He selects only the strongest blooms
A bent piece of fencing wire secures them.
A little way further he stops beside a small fenced grave.
He falls to his knees and pulls the weeds away
Cursing under his breath his own neglect.
He clears the debris and set his flowers
Spreading them across the grave,
Satisfied he has them as he wants
He sits back, it is his time to reflect,
To remember the young Ellie he brought
Home to the farm house that wasn’t much
No floor and no water save for the
Creek, a hundred yards away.
As is his want Clyde sits quietly,
The dog moves in and sits beside him,
Nuzzles Clyde’s face as the man succumbs
To a grief that never fades.
* This is another of my 40 years ago poems that I have re-worked.