I figure if a man’s going to do a fair amount of writing for his keep, he best have a fictional character or two in his back pocket. The bachelor farmer is mine. Based on nobody with hints of real folks mixed in here and there he comes in handy when I need him. I gave him my appetite for, as my kids tell me, “things that taste terrible.” I completely disagree. Here’s a day in his life. Please pass the lumpfish roe … and have a great Thanksgiving.

At 4 a.m. the lonely lamp

is lit upon the hill

The bachelor farmer stirs about

on a cold Thanksgiving morn’

A heel of rye and liverwurst

are set upon a plate

Hard-boiled eggs and anchovies

round out his breakfast fare

Wild chicory roots from the woodlot

steep in a cast-iron pot

From that a tea caps off his meal

and he goes to milk his cows

Pinstripe bibs and sleeves rolled up

he chores with an artist’s flair

The cows are milked and eating hay

beneath them straw of gold

Manure is pitched and calves are nursed

and eggs from hen nests gathered

He walks the path from the barn to house

and stokes the cast-iron stove

He lunches on a hard-tack slice

where upon some cheese resides

Dessert consists of lumpfish roe

and radishes slathered in butter

He washes it down with a drink drawn up

from the earthen well below

With feet propped up by the warmth of fire

he naps to the afternoon news

Then the clock strikes 4 and it’s overalls

as he heads to the barn again

Thanksgiving eve at the bachelor farmer’s

the woodstove crackles hot

A kettle of corn in a Dutch oven pops

in a drumbeat of muffled delight

Popcorn and wine from summer dandelions

by a vintner who’ll ne’er be known

Thanksgiving fare a delight so rare

in the bachelor farmer’s home

So as you see the bachelor farmer

he eats more like a king

Than any other country bloke who

sports a wedding ring

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Greg Galbraith and his wife, Wendy, sold their dairy farm after 30 years of grazing cattle. He now has 20 acres of his grandfather’s original farm with a sugar bush and cabin. From there he writes about the evolving rural landscape. Visit www.poeticfarmer.com for more information.