Close The Gate
This is the poem I read at my dad's funeral. With one small change.
Close the Gate (For Dad)
For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.
Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.
You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.
A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle (and cats) are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.
Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.
You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.
Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.
The addition of 'and cats' is an homage to my parents. See, my grandparents got rid of the cattle when I was still quite young and since then the farm was grain only, no livestock. My mom had taken to collecting farm cats and while my dad claimed to generally hate them he would often go beyond to help my mom with them. Including building them their very own shed with lights & fans.