This week's poet is Darla J. Kristin of Fredericksburg, Va., whose brother, Kerry Smith, is a longtime Tonganoxie resident.
The Old Red Barn
For Uncle Frank and Aunt Violet - I miss you!
My favorite place as a young girl
Was on my Uncle's farm
Where I'd sit and watch him milk the cow
Out in the old red barn
He'd call up the stairs real early
As I was still snuggled warm in bed
"If you're going to help me milk today,
Get up, knucklehead!"
Most times I made it out of bed
Though a time or two I know
As much as I liked being with my Uncle
Some mornings it was just too cold.
My Aunt would give me her rubber boots
And some overalls to wear
And off I'd go with my Uncle,
Following him everywhere.
Sometimes he'd let me try to milk
But my thumbs just didn't work
I told him "I think the faucet's busted"
As I gave it another jerk.
I was happy to leave the job to him
Cause I was afraid the cow would kick me
I'd rather watch him squirt milk in my hands
And have the kittens lick me.
I was happiest just a sittin'
On a hay bale at the farm
Watching my uncle milk the cow
Out in the old red barn.
Â© 2007 Darla Janelle Kristin
The Unrequited Love
To gaze upon her elegant grace,
Her ivory skin, her adoring face,
Just once to hold her white gloved hand
But I, am merely a stable man.
As I daily preen her horses and carriage
She is unawakened to my rumination of marriage.
She emanates royalty, beauty and charm
While I, her stable man lie empty-armed.
Perhaps I, as a Prince, could woo her soul?
Our hearts would ignite like embers of coal.
We would dance in soft moonlight, stroll barefoot in dew,
Whisper in breezes in meadows of blue.
But alas, I awaken from my fanciful dream,
I tend to her carriage, the horses I preen.
My afflicted heart and misfortune I carry,
Yearning for the lady I never shall marry.
For tonight, fever prevailed upon her lily white brow
Dimly lit streets swelled with terse, mournful crowds.
A partially penned note found clasped in her still, gloved hand
Read, "Please tell him how I've loved him - My stable man."
Â© 2003 Darla Janelle Kristin
The following poem was written for Kristin's cousin, Cleda ("Toddy") Hosfelt, shortly before she succumbed to cancer two years ago. Cleda and her husband, Bud, were the editors of the Cherryvale newspaper for many years.
For the Rain
Written for my cousin "Toddy" who lost her battle to breast cancer
When, despite all our efforts
Our health is sometimes lost
We cannot carry it alone
We must lay it at the cross
When our bodies don't cooperate
And cause us so much pain
Our prayers are pleas for sunshine
But the good Lord sends us rain
We must remember just to trust Him
That He has some plan in mind
And that He never will forsake us
Because He is so loving and so kind
The rain will make us stronger
And when the strong winds blow
It is just the gentle breath of God
Helping us to grow
So hold on to His promise
That He will not leave His child
Just hold tightly to His hand
And walk with Him this mile
For just over the horizon
Is the strength for which you long
The sun will surely shine again
For the rain has made you strong.
Â© 2005 Darla Janelle Kristin