I never had a girlfriend

that is what he said to me,

Growing up there wasn’t time

for such frivolity;


We worked the farm

from dawn til dusk,

Just ma and pa and me,

And my younger brother, Will,

With no time to be free.


Some days at school, I’d see those girls,

Exchanging notes and charms,

and walking to and from the school,

always arm in arm.


not for us,” my brother said,

Noting what I saw.

Not for us the city life,

for us, the farm beats all”


But came a time, my brother Will

found  himself a lady friend,

He brought her home to meet the folks,

I thought my world would end.


But not for her, a farmer’s life,

She made it clear to him–

He’d have to live and work in town,

He thought his prospects slim.


“Go ahead and marry her”

I urged my younger brother;

You know you really love that girl,

There might not be another.”


“But what about the farm? he cried,

and you and ma and pa?

I’ll run the farm myself, I said,

And we’ll get by, that’s all!”


And so he married Isabelle–

That was the lady’s name,

and my brother moved to town,

and nothing was the same.


Oh, we worked the farm alright–

and ma cooked meals, the same

As if she’s feeding four, not three,

and we could not find blame.


It was just like that for three long years,

Though only pa kept score–

until one cold and blustery night,

A knock came at the door–


And there stood Will, a sheepish grin

upon his whiskery face;

can I come home?” he asked our pa,

Did someone take my place?”


Kind of like the Prodigal son,

I thought as Pa said grace,

and ma had soup enough for four,

and no one took Will’s place.


Not cut for city life” he muttered,

that was all Will ever said–

As he slurped ma’s soup and asked for

another chunk of homemade bread.


Sandra Lee Smith/originally posted 8-13-12/updated 5-17-18







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