Monday, October 15, 2012

Mag 139 — The Ranch

They holed up there during the Great Depression.
"The Ranch," they called it but it was a
simple dwelling with an outhouse and tub in kitchen
where an aging woman grew a garden, kept
unnamed chickens and a cow named Molly, kept
her daughters fed and busy during a dark time, slept
in the same room with them while her husband (so adept
at sales) worked the biways for leads that led
to a dollar-here-a-dollar-there.

Decades later the oldest daughter spoke of
"The Ranch" in wistful ways, her eyes gleaming
with memories of a kerosene-lit shack, the sweetness
of nights singing together as Molly's tail
swished rhythmically in the barn and
the rooster rustled, waiting
for a new day.

Written for The Mag: Mag 139 that inspired with the above photo prompt
(Midnight Snack, 1984, by Curtis Wilson Cost). 



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i think this is a very evocative piece - in a kinda way it reminds me of the pre-Monty Python sketch about the four yorkshiremen, where they all compare notes and try to outdo each other as to how hard they had it growing up, "we used to live in a shoebox in't middle'o road"

What i mean by that is the way your characters look back to what was a hard time in a romanticised way - longing for the simplicity of those days

Robyn Greenhouse said...

It's so great how childhood memories can be so sweet. All the hard times forgotten and only the good remains.Enjoyed your poem!

izzy said...

Yes I wish I had grown up on a ranch!
thanks for a warm memory.

Kutamun said...

I think the ranch will have been dusted off again recently , as people flee back to their roots in the us of a , as thus great depression unfolds. Very appropriate !

Tess Kincaid said...

Lovely. I'm leaving with a smile...

Rob-bear said...

That Ranch.
It could have been in America
it could have been in
R. B. Bennett's Canada.
Tough times, they were,
yet people learned to survive,
and share.

Here's to Molly the cow
and the other women who endured
on that

mythopolis said...

I like it, of course. childhood memories can often be this way. Especially the earliest ones when one still lived in a kind of magical pre-logical world. In my childhood, there was a witch that lived down the road. The 'boogey man' lived in the attic of grandma's house. and I still remember the creaking sounds coming from up there. And I would talk to granddaddy's chickens as though they understood me. In that whole rural community there was but one well where everyone brought their buckets. The grown-ups would mingle there and talk about grown-up things. I liked to shout down the well because of the echoes.

Belva Rae Staples said...

They were poor, but very rich in what counts! I love this piece!

Lydia said...

Pixies~ Really loved your comment and the way you worked pre-Monty Pythonesque aspects into it. Only you could do that!

Robyn~ Many thanks for the visit and kind comment.

izzy~ I grew up in a country environment but not a ranch. A working ranch would really be a lot of .....rewarding work!

Kutamun~ I hadn't thought of it in those terms. Good point, and thanks.

Tess~ Thanks, Tess, and thanks for the great prompt.

Rob-bear~ I love how you said "Here's to Molly the cow" because she was obviously someone quite special. The story belongs to my mother, she being the oldest daughter in the scene. They moved there the morning after she graduated from high school and stayed through the Depression. She was very lonely and Molly was a dear friend.

mythopolis~ "...a magical pre-logical world" is such a lovely phrase, and then you go on to paint such amazing memories.

Belva~ Thank you so much! I agree that they were rich in what counts.

Sue said...

I like that they called it "the ranch." And they loved it.


Lydia said...

Sue~ I do too. :)

Kathe W. said...

lovely reading this- simpler ways can be the richest.



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