A Farmer’s Christmas Lament

James "Jim" Zitzelsberger
Crop farmer Jim Zitzelsberger shares his keen observations of 2019 that has been a bit rough on farmers across the country.

Sure am glad Christmas is here because it’s been one hell of a year. With global warming turning wet and cold, and early snow like in days of old.

Half the corn is still out in the field, and don’t even ask about the yield, nor the price per bushel of grain, with no China deal and all that pain.

Count yourself lucky for half a crop, and be thankful for what you’ve got, because there’s neighbors all around here who didn’t even get to plant this year.

We’ve certainly had too much rain which has made a dike of every farm lane, flooding fields on either side that lap and tear at a farmer’s pride!

And then, as if markets an’ nature weren’t enough to make the year rough and tough, politicians keep spreading their fertilizer on barren fields because they’re none the wiser!

So nothing much else has been getting done, with only fleeting glimpses of summer sun, except trying to keep those wet fields black and the miserable weeds from coming back.                                                         

Oh, I hear milk is up a bit but you can’t see a cow from where I sit, because every small dairy farm in our town has folded, ceased, and already shut down.

Yet, I’m still hopeful for more December cold to finish the combining when the fields hold, and earn some cash for next year’s seed to top off the pile I didn’t need.

And a few gifts under the Christmas tree for everyone who’s been putting up with me, cussin’ an’ fussin’ an’ bendin’ their ear because it’s been one hell of a year!

Merry Christmas!

Jim Zitzelsberger

©2019 Jim Zitzelsberger is a retired teacher who farms 200 acres of sorghum and soybeans near Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  He has been writing Christmas poems for nearly forty years and is the author of Clancy's Christmas Stampede and Other Christmas Story-Poems along with two other books focused on the Vietnam War.