Summer on an Irish Farm

Bales of hay we stooked out in the field
Later stacked them in the barn for winter feed
The days were warm and work was hard
To a young man like me it seemed more like play

In the afternoon we took a break
Bread and jam and a mug of tea
Delicious in a hayfield on a summer's day

Soon came time to harvest the potatoes
We were each assigned a patch to work
I crouched along, sifting through the sandy soil
Eagerly scooping up the freshly-dug spuds
My lower back began to ache
Not easy work for a city boy like me

Later on we herded sheep into a pen
Grabbed them by their wooly coats
And dipped them in a toxic brew
A wet and funny rodeo indeed

After evening tea, a walk to the pub
To swap stories over a pint or two
On Friday nights there was singing
As Guinness flowed, conversations got louder

Although a stranger, I felt a closeness to these people
And a sense of belonging
A fledgling returning to the nest

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This Poems Story

John O'Hare is a retired psychologist who came to the United States when he was twelve. In his early twenties he returned to Ireland to spend summers on his uncle's farm.