Ways of Farms

"Why do you keep the farm?" I said to him,

"You should retire and spend your slowing days

In city-comfort." -- "But I like the ways

Of farms," he answered looking at the slim

White birches swaying by the river's brim

Where glad larks fluted; then I saw his gaze

Rove to the meadow where the pheasant lays

Her eggs, the slough where bright-winged mallards swim.

I knew he meant the little things--the fall

Of furrowed loam ... And almost envious

I breathed the wild, sweet scent the spring released.

I knew he heard within a killdeer call

Across a field of wheat, the Angeles,

For he stood silent till the chiming ceased.