Farm Sale

Written by Lin Brummels

Image: Countryside by Mariateresa Susca

I fell in love with Clearwater Creek
at ten when my family moved
to this place, waterways dense
with brush and full of fallen

trees, providing a home
for deer, beaver, ducks, geese,
and for me to start a new life.
I walked along paths that hugged

high ground above the creek
as it moved through our pasture
in a  time when steep hills sheltered
mature trees, land untouched

by plows, creating a trail for cattle
and a wooded track for barefoot kids
like me to follow my imagination.
Our rented farm was divided,

house from barns and livestock
by a county road; house north,
barns south. After twenty years
here, the folks called it quits,

and held an auction on a damp,
gloomy March day in ’82. Pickups
and cars lined both sides of the road
a half mile in either direction

like an auto dealer’s car lot.
Some relatives and neighbors
came just to be there for the folks
during their shift from farm

to retirement, but most came to grab
a bargain, picking through my parents’ lives
like they were browsing the aisles
of a second-hand store.

The pictures I took of their farm sale
are blurred like I photographed
them under water; people in coats,
caps, scarves, and an occasional

cowboy hat, grouped together
to block a chilly north wind
and hear the auctioneer’s calls.
Photos of my favorite trees

and creek bottom hideouts
that I took sale day, faded to sepia
from years in a drawer,
but are as clear as the reflection

of my face in still water,
preserving views I loved daily
growing up, and miss
much more than tractors.

This work was featured in issue #7

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