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Puppy Ears ‘n Barn Kittens

Grampa’s Ways
May 29, 2023
Respect and Reward
June 14, 2023

My bride grew up in central Iowa farm country. She frequently shares with me her distinct, fond memories of precious times spent on the farm with her grandmother. Some of those stories I’ve heard for years yet I’m still entertained when she tells them once again. This poem is the direct result of my wife’s request that I document those memories into a rhyming story.

Puppy Ears ‘n Barn Kittens

Time-to-time the ears of my dogs
When I'm all snugglin' and kissin'
Smell like the barn kittens of my youth
Driftin' me back to times I've been missin'

When spells were spent on the farm
Livin' a life more easy and plain
In days when the only truth-authority
In God's Good Book still did reign

Smilin', I wistfully recollect
Helpin' Grandma make caramel corn
In her multi-use old washtubs
That loyally served; becomin' timeworn

Those washtubs might on another day
If Grandma was goin’ to pickle-makin'
Hold cucumbers fresh from her garden
At the same time she was cookie bakin’

Or one would hold sudsy water
While the other held hot and clear
For washin' dishes and rinsin’
After cookin’ and feedin’ those dear

Grandma made her own butter
Using a wood-paddled old churn
That antique now in my niece’s home
Displayed there for a recollectin’ turn

Her laundry house collected rainwater
That would be heated by stove wood
Makes me marvel at my Maytag
Acknowledgin’ grateful as I should

Grandma’s garden was huge and plentiful
Leavin’ little to be store-bought
She’d put up green beans after I snapped
Usin’ her big ‘ol copper pot

She did her shellin’ on the front porch
The bounty from her walnut orchard
She got to where she couldn’t see so well
Shells in her cookies left us some tortured

They had a telephone for sure
Who remembers a party line?
I think there were four on grandma’s
It was her sneaky, gossip grapevine

I'm wise and experienced enough
At my age when I now pause
To be completely truth-mindful
That season, of course, had it's flaws

Yet I can't but help sigh and wish
I might go back, maybe for a summer
To once again be found so carefree
When, to life, I was still a newcomer

I'm grateful for my present blessed season
I would not want to stay forevermore
But it would sure be a welcome respite
To once again pause by Grandma's kitchen door

by Rik Goodell

© 2023 All rights reserved

Thank you Gregory Mayse for once again providing your excellent artwork to accompany my poetry. You've provided a number of fine art pieces to either inspire or flesh-out my rhyming stories.

To see more of Mr. Mayse's work, visit his website:

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