Husking the Corn

(Charles E. Page, January 2006)

 

From the time Alberta and I were married in 1946 and lived on the Butlers Corners farm, we did things together as much as possible, and when our kids were born they joined us in about everything we did.

Looking back through the years some of the best memories were of our whole family working together on some simple chore, such as, husking corn out in the field on a crisp, sunny fall day.

Hopefully, all of you can remember with pleasure your own kind of "husking corn" days.

 

"Husking the Corn"

The rays of the warm autumn sunshine

Beat down to the cornís frosted toes.

A small, cooling breeze whispered past us

And rustled the length of the rows.

Fat ear-men with dangling, tanned faces

Turned brown by frostís early lash

Immortal, in shiny gold kernels

Grinned out through each corn silk mustache.

A youngster groaned in reluctance

"To pick it will take us all day!

While husking please tell us a story

To help pass the slow time away"

"líll tell you the way I lived, children,

When I was, like you, a young tad,

And I lived with my folks in the city,

When tales of the twenties were made.

We sat on the porch those fall evenings

The rumble of trains shook the street.

Came smoke though the gathering darkness

From leaves burning, distant, and sweet.

We sat there as one, all together

For then no TV was inside

To lure us kids off the veranda

Enticed by the fight and the ride.

The milk wagon horse in the morning

With metronome hoofs stirred our legs

To hurry downstairs to a breakfast

Of oatmeal, or pancakes and eggs.

And later, we kids would watch mother

Make cookies and piecrust and bread.

Sometimes got a penny for candy,

But mostly an apple instead."

Our lives seemed so simple and wholesome

Way back in that long ago day,

When parents had time to be parents

And children had time just to play.

We husked, as we talked, in the cornfield

The ears in the wagon we threw

As slowly the sun drifted westward

The higher the rich pile grew.

"Iíd hate to live in the city,"

Said Fay, with the wind on her face,

"With smoke and the noise of the railroad

And miss all this clean country space."

I laughed and agreed, "It is better

Out here with the crow and the dove,

But where you live matters so little,

If youíre there with the ones you love."

 

(Will YOU, in the eighties and nineties

When all your OWN children are born

Remember with equal nostalgia

This autumn, and husking the corn?)

 

Authorís note: I wrote this " poem ? "(I think it was about 1962.)

The eighties and nineties seemed so far in the future then!

Charles E. Page January 2006

 

 

"Painting the Garage" 1957

(left to rt.) Jill, Fay, Chas on ladder, Alberta, each painting what they could reach

 

 

"Making a Pile of Limbwood" (1958)

Bub and Fay (with Neuter, the dog), getting up limbwood for buck-sawing into firewood.

 

 

"Fay, Jill, and Bub Stacking Firewood" (1958)

 

 

"Alberta and Fay Piling Fence posts" (1958)