Ilene on Her

Ilene Goldbeck

Ilene Goldbeck
In her 20’s

 

 

 

My mother’s 75th birthday was in August. And like most farm wives she has made her share of sacrifices to keep the farm going. I hope you’ll enjoy this little tribute. Here’s to you, Mom

 

 

Ilene on Her

Ilene is my mother’s name and after decades it has occurred to me

Just how appropriate her name is when I think about our family.

She has quietly supported Dad since she was only seventeen

And his life and ours just wouldn’t be the same without Ilene.

 

When she married she was 90 pounds soaking wet

But wiry and strong; you ain’t seen nothing yet!

She’s not much bigger now but she can still toss

Forty or fifty bales that weigh nearly as much as she does.

 

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.

Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.

 

A penny was never stretched like a penny in the hands of Mom.

As little as came through her hands, she always saved some.

And just when times are extra tough and no solution is in sight

My mom reveals her secret stash and saves the farm from its plight.

 

For many years she had a full-time job in town at the bank.

That regular paycheque ensured their small farm never sank.

Chores to do before she left and more when she came home

Never seemed to faze her, even when she did them all alone.

 

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.

Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.

 

Her garden and her chickens helped keep the wolf from the door.

She’s worked beside Dad and not desired much more

Than being his partner, with a horse or two in the yard.

I challenge you to find a woman half her age who can work half as hard.

 

She keeps her health in check; she doesn’t need to take pills

But she faithfully ensures Dad takes his to ward off all his ills.

She silently consents when he conjures brand new schemes

And participates completely in the fulfillment of their dreams.

 

She has seen her share of sorrows but she always wears a smile

Despite the trials and burdens of walking with Dad along the miles.

She would say her life’s been happy though she’s never had much nice stuff.

Having horses in common with Dad, to her, has always been enough.

 

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.

Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.

 

 

Performed at 30th Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Lewistown, MT 2015

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