Country Whispers


Granny milked the cows
 along side of her man,
eight or more each day and night
to lend a helping hand

I’ve seen her milk so many times
astride three-legged stools,
head leaned against a Guernsey cow,
 yet she was no one’s fool

She used to name the critters
 and treated them like kids,
petted, soothed, and curried
the same as Grandpa did

Granny pulled her weight
 and did the work of ten,
there was no question ‘bout it
when measured next to men

You see it was their livelihood,
they worked a humble dairy,
pulling teats, cleaning stalls,
and milk cans they would carry

There were no days to squander,
their life was not their own,
no sick days, fun, nor leisure,
or time to whine and moan

Were no machines in those days
 to make the work go fast,
they did it all by hand, you know,
like kinfolk in the past

The weather made no difference,
in blizzard, rain, or hail,
they headed for the old barn
each carrying a pail

Gramps would walk by Granny
not saying much it seemed,
convinced the life he’d given her
was not what she had dreamed

Forty years of hard work,
cooking, mending clothes,
having kids, and milking 
 was not great, he supposed

But I don’t think it mattered
to Granny and her kind,
they went where their men led them
and gave it little mind

She left her mark upon us,
we watched as kids and learned,
and I can’t thank her near enough
for what all I discerned

My thoughts are often with her,
an example to us all,
to not complain, just do the work,
each task both large an’ small…

(dedicated to my grandma Dicus)


Copyright Tamara Hillman




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