3 Poems by Don Thompson

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Abandoned Ranch
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Barbed wire snarls in a heap
behind the barn.  Its doors sag
on hinges barely held together
by rust and regret.
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You can’t even smell horses anymore.
Out in the fields, fence posts
that no longer have any purpose
lean toward each other.
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Silo
.
A mile off across the fields,
two abandoned grain silos like sentries
stand guard over everything obsolete—
even my own past,
which no longer has a market value.
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Nevertheless, I do recall the silo
on grandfather’s farm in Kansas,
already unused a lifetime ago.
I’d look into it, amazed
by how much emptiness it could contain,
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and by the spindly tree growing inside,
all alone, determined
not just to endure,
but to reach the sunlight a hundred feet up
and feel the wind.
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Irrigation
.
The diesel well pump whines
through clenched teeth, spoiling
early morning peace and quiet.
But that’s what it takes
to put water on the alfalfa.
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Insects have been forced into the open,
driving blackbirds into a frenzy.
The flock swirls and chatters
around a few motionless egrets
that bring an inner calm with them—
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philosophical about abundance,
having lived through hard times.
And hungry or not,
they have such good manners that none
wants to be the first to eat.
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Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks.  For more info and links to publishers, visit his website at www.don-e-thompson.com
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