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The Farmers Wife

by / Wednesday, 21 April 2010 / Published in Poetry

By Lorna Madson

Weatherboard walls and rooves of tin,

Doors you cannot lock,

The fence around the garden,

Wouldn’t keep out the flock.

Not enough water to have a lawn,

Toilet’s out the back,

Bathroom’s on the veranda,

But this is no humble shack.

It’s your average Aussie farmhouse,

It’s comfortable inside,

The farmer’s wife takes care of it,

With shear hard work and pride.

Lace curtains on the windows,

There is no need for blinds,

Insects found inside the house,

Are of many different kinds.

For flywire on a farmhouse door,

Never seems to last too long,

The chookyard is down near the sheds,

For the odour is quite strong.

Running repairs around the house,

Are done by the farmer’s wife,

If you take her tools and don’t return,

I guarantee you’ll be in strife.

A screwdriver and hammer you’ll always find,

In the drawer beneath the sink,

For these are the tools she’ll have to use,

When something’s on the blink.

At shearing time, she’s a roustabout,

Come cook and bottle washer,

And when it’s time to pick the stumps,

She becomes a mallee-root tosser.

At seeding time she drives a tractor,

At harvest time, the truck,

And when the paddocks are all bogged out,

It’s always her that will get stuck.

And when it’s time to drench the sheep,

She’s someone to abuse,

Rarely do they compliment,

Her cakes or roasts or stews.

And all the while she keeps the house,

And the kids she sends to school,

At haircut time the family will,

All line up near the stool.

Of many talents she is made,

But come taxation time,

Her occupation he fills in,

It almost seems a crime.

Just as she’d suspected,

She is once again housewife,

She’ll be claimed as a dependant,

To keep them out of strife.

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