A Ballad for Winter Chores

Winter chores, I know you have arrived, when there is no sunlight at 5:45.

Darkness fills the evening air, and I cannot find a flashlight anywhere.

You bring to my attention the leak in my favorite rubber boots,

as I kick out ice in the water pail for the goose.


Gone is the warm wind rustling through the trees.

Cold water splashes and freezes me to my knees.

In a walk,  I once took peace and pleasure,

I find myself wading through snow beyond measure.


Coyotes singing haunt my soul,

I still have several more paces to go

Until I reach the well-lit barn to make sure everyone is safe from harm.


Even my little furry watchers have abandoned me.

The cats in the barn are nowhere to be seen.

The mice are eating all of my grain,

and I think to myself this is a giant pain.


“It’s a glorious day,” says the man on T.V.

“It is sunny and 23 degrees!”

Clearly, he has not had the pleasure,

of delivering a calf in this kind of weather.


Water troughs steam away

as heaters warm them through out the day.

The energy meter spins without ceasing

and the electric bill is ever-increasing.


A thought, what if one of them should catch fire?

And burn this barn like a Grecian Pyre?

Lord, I pray,

that the animals would all be far away that day.


A break in the weather we will soon be seeing.

As I prepare for a flood, I am barely breathing.

60 degrees would be charming if it didn’t come with a flood warning.

A day of dangerous mud, the kind that makes horses fall with a thud.

Only to be replaced in the night with a terrible icy blight.


My children ride upon a sled as we move bales from shed to shed.

Bouncing over the frozen muck, they will sleep well tonight with any luck.

Spreading straw to warm frigid toes, any time now Lord, we could lose the 10 below.


Winter chores you test and burden me, and I often wish that I could flee.

But in a few long months Spring will be here.

And I will remember exactly why this farm is so dear.

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