This poem, entitled “My Grandfather’s Land,” was written by senior Victoria Overdorf. Enjoy!
I was allowed pie after dinner
If I helped my grandfather in the fields.
We harvested; he didn’t believe in modern machines
‘cause they made people too comfortable.
There wasn’t another house for a mile,
Or so it seemed from the car window on the way down.
He didn’t bother anybody, and nobody bothered him-
I did worry about him getting lonely.
I planned to live with him some day.
He needed help,
And I wouldn’t have enough money for a place of my own.
We’d shuck the corn ‘till they were naked and gold.
One year they tried to take my grandfather’s barn,
Strong enough for wood barracks, they told him,
And enough land for gun fires
Without people from town gettin’ disturbed.
He could even keep the house
As long as he didn’t mind the noise.
A few hundred dollars would be his,
And the state’d excuse all his debts.
He opened the gates and watched the men
File in on trucks and by foot.
Each of them about the same- uniformed and tired,
Taking a cot in the barn and brushing the straw off of their pillow.
I came the next year for a visit and to help,
But the cornfields were bare-
Streaked with tire marks and shoe treads.
He didn’t have much for me to do, so we had dinner early.
The day they shot his bedroom window out he
Didn’t say a thing, and hung a curtain up instead.
He never told me, but I know he got sad when
It got dark in there during the day.
When he died, they took the house.
He wrote it in his will that they could have it.
I think he supposed that it’d be useful to them somehow.
Today I don’t have anything to return to,
Because until the end, he gave.