Gwen Peterson: Farm wife plays mechanic
As summer shifts into high gear, life in rural land goes from hectic to chaotic to frenzied — practically on a daily basis.
Ranch and farm women, helpmates to their other halves, can pretty much identify with the subject of the following poem.
GOING TO TOWN
Whenever the tractor quits or balks,
Or the mower refuses to start,
You’re the one your hubby talks
Into going to town for parts.
No matter you’re buried clear up to the eyes
In bread dough and Pillsbury flour,
You dust off your hands, out the door you fly,
Vowing return in an hour.
While your knight of the tractor comforts his steed,
In the pickup you roar into town,
A good woman off on an errand of need
To the store where parts can be found.
A part man’s a smart man who knows all factors
Of flange and bolt and U-joint
For healing the wounds of old broken tractors,
He patiently waits as you point…
“That left-handed flange with a gasket and hose,”
You say with a confident air.
With a withering glance down his hawk-beak nose,
He asks, “Just one or a pair?”
Confusion wells up and you feel pathetic,
“Oh, both,” nonchalantly you say.
Twenty miles to drive home; your life is hectic,
You’ve lost the best of the day.
Back at the ranch, you seek out your man
“Look, one of each,” you purr.
He takes the flange with an eager hand
Then utters a tasteless word.
“A flange is no good without some bolts,”
He growls with amazed disdain,
“Anyone could see!” You feel like a dolt,
And your ego starts to wane.
Three trips to town and one flat tire,
And what do you find in the end?
The tractor gets fixed with pliers and wire…
No wonder you’re round the bend. ❖