Joseph Martin Ware

24 May 1896-1 Dec 1968

The auction bill that day was read,

And the possessions of the dead,

Were displayed there for all to see.

An ox yoke, a blade,

A pitch fork and a spade,

A bed stead of oak, one of three.

There’s a hay rake, and a tedder,

A mattress filled with feathers,

Things they’d gathered over years.

And Aunt Ruthie’s picture,

In the bedroom was a fixture,

It’s presence on the pile brought me tears.

Those hand tools in the barn

Made many things for this old farm

Will now most likely lay and rust.

I can see my uncle now,

As he works on that old plow,

Always with a passion born of trust.

My tears I had to stifle

When I saw my uncle’s rifle,

I remembered when he taught me how to sight.

Aunt Ruthie’s cook stove, burning wood,

She’d have electric if she could,

But she died without having electric lights.

My uncle stayed on alone

In this place he called his home,

And kept it up the very best he could.

Sometime he and his pastor

Would go down in the pasture,

Kneel and thank the Lord for all his good.

Well, they found my uncle dead,

Lying in that feather bed,

Where all my cousins first saw light.

Now they all have moved away,

As, “This farm will never pay”,

To live in cities, they thought was right..

Well, the farm was sold that day,

To a man from far away,

And it was plain there’d never be more crops.

It caused my heart great pain,

When the buyer made it plain,

He intended to sell it off in plots.

A family farm did disappear

And in it’s place there will appear,

“Cookie cutter” houses row on row .

This scene, it makes me sad,

And, yes, a little mad,

When I think of love and care here long ago!

I’ll cherish this old land,

And it’s memories so grand,

And remember those earthy folks of mine.

My life will never be the same,

And I’ll never forget their names

I’d give all I have to see them one more time!





  1. A beautiful poem Ray and it brought a tear to my eye as I have seen the farm I grew up on sold and split up in the exact way after my father died and Mom sold it. The only thing left is the old farm house at the end of the tree lined driveway. The barns have long been torn down and the fields once filled with corn, soy beans and livestock are now filled with cracker box houses. Thank you Ray.


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