Farm Collector

The Ladies Page


We fetched them, groaning,
Square-split loads of wood
On dented arms,
For jackets never could
Quite dull their edge –
Then rubbed the marks
To take away the sting
But still the wood box gaped –
The horrid thing.
There was the pledge
Of Sister Edith, who
Could haul the biggest loads
Of anyone I knew,
And when she helped
Small paths became ambitious roads.
We’d pile it high,
So high our mother said,
‘It will fall off.
I wish you’d use some reason.’
When Edith helped
‘Twas overworking season.

Next day our mother used
But half of the supply –
The box filled quickly,
It was not so high.
Each afternoon I edged it down a bit,
I was the youngest,
Edith’s arms were strong –
Each day I waited for her words,
My song.
‘I’ll help you fill it, Mae,’
And once again it reached the sky
And Mother shook her head
and frowned,
It was too high. My sister went away to
business school –
I milked the cows
But weekends she would come,
Don overalls and say,
‘Now – in the house you stay
Or take a walk.
I’ll help Dad milk,’
And I wore silk and satin in my soul.
She toiled, and somehow understood
For as a sister she was extra good

She taught a lesson from her helpful
Which made me willing to accept
my part
And try the second mile, and find it blest-
The help the younger, weaker one is
So Sister Edith taught my soul to fly
By filling up the wood box Extra High.

Just Thought you might like some memories on a winter day, so
here you are. When I see our older girl helping our younger one
with a hard task I think of the memories which are being formed for
this generation. Isn’t that one of the rewards of helpfulness,
pleasant memories? Now just a bit of whistle blowing – The poems
‘Straw Changing Day’ and ‘Extra Good’ are in my
aren’t so covered by snow but what I can dig them out and send
you one should you send me an order. May the New Year of 1962 be a
happy one for you

  • Published on Mar 1, 1962
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