He knew it was time to stay at the farm
when leaving it began to feel
like he was in alien in a rocket ship
instead of a man. From his view
of Route 3108 from the height
of his beat-down Chevy truck, once-
familiar places had this uncanny
newness to them.

“Ida,” he said to his wife,
“It feels like everything
shrunk almost.”

And sure, the amount of open green spaces had
decreased over the years, as farmers like him
sold off lots to folks to build on. 
A lot of the old farmers were gone now, too.

At the stockyards, auction day was like
them farmer’s markets they hold in cities’
downtowns. Now, it’s old men mostly,
the occasional Amish or Mennonite. 
Young families that looked hungry,
some rich. 

He thought, people have to exist in the world
that surrounds them. He imagined

the bright honeysuckle
growing across the diamonds
of his year-bent wire fence. Imagine
the noise in the air, buzz saws trimming
siding for yet another house in renovation.
The smell of manure and sod, but so unlike
the whiff of cowshit from his old farm,
newly cannibalized.

He thought, briefly. Imagine
the old city like a new living thing,

its clogged arteries. So unlike itself