Final Harvest

(I just found out tonight my uncle, Guy Grover, passed away.  He’d been in ill health for awhile. Other than my mom, he was my dad’s best friend.  They farmed a mile from one another…went on dozens of Canadian fishing trips…and hunted deer, fox, pheasants, and ducks together for over 60 years.  He was a very successful farmer and a true outdoorsman.  This poem, which I wrote awhile back, is dedicated to Guy Grover, his brother Jim, and my father Max…hard working Iowa farmers whose lineage in the Rowley area originated in the 1840s.)

They can trace their Buchanan county ancestry

Back to a sod house high above Bear Creek…

When there were actually bears.

Like cornfields they’ve stood tall,

Roots anchored by their heritage.   

Now the elders, they’re pitted and raspy and weathered.

They’ve endured pounding hail…torrential rains…and endless sun.

Yet grateful for Godly nurture and loam’s abundance,

They’ve cultivated a dignified, humble truce with sky and soil.

One November night, in a black and white vision,

The farmer becomes the cornstalk.

His grayed tassels are rustled by a goose-bump breeze,

As a single-row combine does a 180 at the section line.

Its bright headlight washes out a shuck-dust moon.

Stalks tumble before him;

And then through him The Harvester passes,

His generation

Husked to the wind.

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2 Responses to Final Harvest

  1. pat grover says:

    That was a wonderful tribute to my dad, Uncle Jim,and your father.
    Cousin Pat
    .

    • timggrover says:

      Thanks Pat. They’re definitely worth it. Did you know our original Buchanan county Grover grandpa lived in a sod house down by the Gates farm by Bear Creek on the “scary road” to Corkerys? Dad told me that.

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