Country Born

When I have a poem published somewhere, I like to repost it here after the rights revert back to me so you guys can read it easily. That’s the case today. “Country Born” is a little free verse poem that Dos Gatos Press published in their 2013 Texas Poetry Calendar. I love this calendar; I buy one every year, regardless of whether or not I have a poem in it. It’s a by-the-week setup, so I’m guaranteed to read at least one new poem every week, which is just wonderful. This year my poem was next to March 24th. I hope you enjoy!


Country Born

I want my kids to grow up in the country,
barefoot and shirtless with twigs in their hair.

I want them to catch frogs in rain ponds by culverts –
to learn to let them go before they come back home.

I want them to feel the smooth cordage of a horse’s neck
stretching between fence wires for the eternally greener.

I want them to know that the bump and crunch of a gravel driveway
will always mean home.

I want my kids to grow up in the country,
where deeper roots mean taller trees.


© Annie Neugebauer, 2012
All rights reserved.

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  • Julia Munroe Martin

    I love this… especially the last line. Very cool!

  • richweatherly43

    Beautiful poem, Annie and elegant in its simplicity.

  • jessika fleck


  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    This is wonderful (says the country girl who grew up playing with tree frogs and salamanders). Thanks so much for sharing with us!

    • Oh me too, Melissa! I loved frogs; the smaller the better. (I thought the little ones were cute.) And thank you!

  • Cynthia Robertson

    Lovely, Annie!

  • Regina Richards

    I grew up like this. My parents bought a house on the very edge of town and as I grew the town grew so that I lived in the “country” as a child and in town by the time I was a teen. The best of both worlds at each of those ages. My mother had a similar experience. Though in her case she lived on a farm until she was 12 and then her family moved to town. She thought that was the perfect combination as well. Wonderful poem.

    • Thanks Regina. I had almost the opposite experience. I grew up in a regular old neighborhood until we moved. I think I was pre-teen, maybe 5th or 6th grade. We weren’t in true-blue country with a ranch or anything like that, but we did have woods and gullies and gravel drives, no streetlights or fences unless certain lots had horses on them. It was a wonderful place to spread my wings. =)

  • jclementwall

    Love this. Sharing.

  • A. B. Davis

    This poem moved me–seriously choked me up. Could be that it crystallizes my own dreams of where and how I want to live. Beautiful.

  • Nina Badzin

    I agree with Julia. That last line really resonates. Thanks for sharing, Annie!

  • I grew up in the suburbs and currently live in a city, but someday I hope to end up in the country. I’d love for my kids to grow up in the country too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • I would too, obviously, but the truth is this poem is at least a little bit idealized. As long as kids have a place where they can go outside and catch lizards or study ant piles (which includes most suburban back yards), I think they’ll be okay. 🙂