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About Bonnie Mills



A Nebraska Morn

He arose in the darkness
Just before the dawn
Lit the lamps
Put his overalls on.

Stoked up the stove
Without fail
Broke the ice
Off the water pail.

Filled the teakettle
Put it on to heat
Slipped on his cold boots
Onto colder feet.

Dipped out some water
Into the graniteware basin
Splashed his face
He sure did hasten.

He donned his jacket, gloves and hat
His old cob pipe did light
Slipped out the door
Into the crisp starry night.

Taking the lantern
Down from the peg
He scratched a match
On his pant leg.

A golden glow
Lighting the way
He headed to the barn
To start his day.

He broke up the ice
From off the tank
The into the barn
All cold, dark, and dank.

Pitched down some hay
Dipped out the grain
Threw open the doors
For the cows in the lane.

Into the stalls
Came cows red, black, and brown
He patted each one
They all settled down.

Mom and the boys
Bundled up from the cold
Brought in the pails
All dented and old.

Each grabbed a stool
Three legs on each one
Hobbled their cows
To get the job done.

Leaning their heads
Against each warm flank
Pails between knees
They gave each teat a gentle yank.

Warm white milk
Rained down in the pail
Each cow stripped dry
Without fail.

Sleepy eyed cats
The kittens, too
Crouched by expectant
Sure of their due.

Dad let the cows
Back out in the cold
Fed the cats
Who now were quite bold.

Mom and Dad
With pails brimming o'er
Head back to the house
And in through the door.

The boys grab a pitchfork
And horsing around
Pitch all of the manure
Out onto the ground.

The house is now snug
And warm as can be
Mom and Dad take the full pails
To the pantry.

The separators ready
Mom saw to that
Dad removed
His jacket, gloves, and hat.

Into the bowl
The warm milk does flow
As dad grasped the handle
To make the machine go.

Gears mesh and grind
As faster and faster
At this chore
Dad is a master.

Soon out of spigots
Into cans placed by Mother
Comes milk from one
Cream from the other.

Moms in the kitchen
All bustle and rush
Frying the eggs
Cooking the mush.

Dad lets the separator
Slowly wind down
Caps up the cans
For their trip in to town.

The boys burst in
Their cheeks all aglow
Breakfast is waiting
This they both know.

Homebaked bread
Of which we all dream
Eggs fried in butter
Mush drowned in cream.

The day is just starting
Chores wait in great number
They've been up for hours
While others slumber.

Hands all strong
Callused and worn
Thus have started
A Nebraska morn.

Bonnie Mills  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

About Bonnie Mills:

I was born on January 14, 1931, at home, on a very small dry-land farm in Nebraska.  My mother wrote and quoted poetry and we studied and memorized poetry in school, however, it wasn't until my mother passed away that I started to write poetry.  It almost seemed like her hand was guiding me. I spasmodically write ever since.

When I became very involved in my family history and genealogy, I was inspired to put some of the written parts of my past into poetry to be passed on to my children.  I can't just pick up a pen and say to myself "I'm
going to write a poem!"  I have to be moved by events in my life that are inspirational.



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