Fence Corners

Some people, passing, look at fence corners

And see weeds and briars in the angle of space

Where the plow seemed to miss its furrowing.

They see wild plum and sassafras growing in crowded fashion,

They see uncut grass and elderberry flaunting a lacy bloom.

They see only weeds and grass and briars,

And feel, out loud,

That elderberries have no reason to grown on a farm;

And they feel, still louder, that a farmer is shiftless

Who lets his corners run riot with weeds and grass and briars.


They do not see the nest, well hidden, with the five small eggs,

Not the swift brown wings that flash out and in,  out and in,

Until five yellow mouths open wide for food;

Nor the rabbit, grateful to sedge for is sheltering wisp,

Nor the lizard that suns on the rail in wait for a fly.

They do not know that birds watch each berry’s turning.

They do not see, nor understand, how much of the drama of life

 Is lived in fence corners. 


They did not see the ploughman’s hand, in spring,

Rough with the weather and hard from toil,

Skillfully guiding the team in a wide circle to miss the corner.

They did not observe his expectant looks while hoeing or reaping,

Nor sense the glow that welled from his heart

As the rustle of grass revealed small stirrings of life in the tangle of growth.


In the rush of their journey there is not enough time to see with their eyes

Nor feel with their hearts, the ultimate growth of the soul of a man

Who knows it is good for a farmer to share a small corner of field with his friends.

While passing, they see only weeds and grass and briars.

                                                 ~author unknown

This was given to me in 1957  by Doris Nutt, who knew the value of small things and small girls in corners.

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