30 July 2018

Christmas on the farm, a poem by Frank Fisch

At 4 a.m. the barn lights go on,
and we feed the cows with a slight sense of urgency.
It's a holiday morning and we're trying to get done,
but even on Christmas, you still have to milk the cows.

We start tractors, barn cleaners and manure spreaders up,
praying that nothing breaks down.
And then cow by cow,
the milking machines slowly leap frog their way down the barn.
(you can't speed up a one speed machine)

Finally, with the morning chores done we head for the house,
shake off the cold, get cleaned up, and change our clothes.
The guests arrive, the wrapping paper flies,
then it's time for our holiday dinner.
In the afterglow of Kris Kringle,
while everyone else begins to mix and mingle,
my best present is a 20 minute nap in the recliner.

Then the clock tells us, "get back to the barn."
But on this afternoon family and friends tag along.
Hot coffee and adult beverages flow,
as do the stories and laughter.
The cows get milked and the bull starts to fly.

And when the afternoon milking is done,
14 hours after they came on,
the barn lights go back off.

It's a holiday, but just another day,
because even on Christmas,
you still have to milk the cows.

Frank Fisch spent his childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Allamuchy, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he served in the United States Navy for 4 years, and then attended Maryville College where he studied Philosophy and English. Following college, Fisch spent 3 years as a volunteer with Heifer Project International helping low income families with their cattle projects. In '91-'92 he walked 3,000 miles across Mexico and Central America with "Walk to Save the Amazon."

Fisch's writings often mirror his lifetime spent in agriculture. He possesses a simple, down-to-earth philosophy about life, and frequently finds the humor in random, everyday events. He currently lives in a farming community in western Arkansas with his wife and family.

Frank Fisch

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