Poem: Leaving the Family Farm

My best friend recently retired from farming and I wrote this poem for her.

by Shelley Goldbeck

Good bye is a not pretty word. When does it ever end nice?
The end of a job, a marriage, a life: good bye always has its price.
Sometimes you know it’s time to say it long before you do.
Your soul knows it’s time to go; most times your head does too.

The aches and pains come everyday, where once they were here and there.
The kids just don’t come home to help; it’s not that they don’t care
But they have their jobs and obligations and simply cannot come
To work the fields and brand and wean, just like we’ve always done.

Letting go is the hardest part. Memories tugging at your heart.
Heal your hurting. Take my advice. Focus only on what was nice.
Celebrate you’re onto something new. All the fun things you will do.
Letting go is the hardest part. Memories tugging at your heart.

Leaving the farm is not as easy as quitting your job in town.
For years and years it has been my life, all I’ve ever known.
I care about my cows; they’ve been my reason for being.
Now I’ve left them to Billy so he can oversee ’em.

After years of going seven days a week my body needs a rest.
Making myself do nothing is proving quite the test.
I catch myself thinking that it’s time to move the bulls.
The seasons that I used to live through still have their pull.

The world is now my oyster; I can do whatever I please
Although who knows what will happen with my worn out knees.
For now I’ll just live each day, glad I’ve lived the charm
Of being the steward for many years of the family farm.