Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In loving memory of my farmer dad April 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:56 AM
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The barn where I labored alongside my father while growing up on the southwestern Minnesota prairie. File photo.

The barn where I labored alongside my father while growing up on the southwestern Minnesota prairie. File photo.

CALL ME THE BARD of barns, if you will, for barns have inspired me to pen poetic words and to compose poetic photos.

There is something about a barn rising strong and majestic or sagging with the burden of age that moves me. I am reminded of my childhood years toiling in the barn—scraping manure, wheeling ground corn in the wheelbarrow, forking silage.

Cats clumped in corners. Buckle overshoes slapping against cement. WCCO booming “Point of Law.”

Fly specks. Pink baby mice. Long sandpaper cow tongues.

The milkhouse, attached to family barn. File photo.

The abandoned milkhouse, attached to family barn. File photo.

Stuck drinking cups overflowing. Twine on bales. Pails of frothy milk.

Cracked, chapped bleeding hands slimed with Cornhuskers lotion.

Footsteps of my father. Time with Dad. Gone 10 years ago today.

A snippet of the land my father farmed, my middle brother after him. The land and farm site are now rented out.

A snippet of the land my father farmed, my middle brother after him. The land and farm site are now rented out.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling