For Conrad Jordheim

I remember Conrad Jordheim
That gentle, twinkling man
Who farmed along the valley
Of the winding old Sheyenne.

Lean and straight and cleanly ruddy
Eyes like blue Norwegian stars
Norwegian stock, the soil his study
Through long heavy hours.

He cleanly lived, no vices had,
Was honest as the loam.
Yet stole away at sixty-three
When he was far from home.

Who knows why he was taken
Before three score and ten,
While God allows far longer lives
To far, far lesser men?

Could it be Conrad was needed
In pastures high above,
Though wife and children pleaded
With their prayers and all their love?

Perhaps God needed reapers
Honest, clean, and inward strong,
Masters of hard-learned harvest skills
For harvests coming on.

Or a man expert at mowing
Verdant fields forever green
With unnumbered blossoms blowing
In the meadowlands between.

Bul I think angelic error
Took him home before his time,
And, because there was none fairer
God decided, "He is mine."

So I think of Conrad Jordheim
That gentle, twinkling man
Who farmed along the valley
Of the winding old Sheyenne.

And I think that where he's farming now
He's twinkling brighter still
As he slides a shining golden plow
Along a fragrant hill

Where wild roses blowing sweetly,
Meadow larks more sweetly sing
Than they do in old Dakota
In the best Dakota spring.

Gene Pinkney

Copyright ©2006 Gene Pinkney
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