My Father, the Poet

My father, the late Glen Segraves, was a poet. He completed the ninth grade in school. His father, the late L. D. Segraves, finished the third grade. Both were pastors. Grandpa pastored two churches, Dad five.

After pastoring for thirty years, Dad earned his G. E. D., enrolled in Christian Life College, and earned the degree B.A. in Bible and Theology, including two years of New Testament Greek.

Dad wrote simple poems for many occasions . . . celebrations like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and even funerals.

I thought you might enjoy this poem he wrote for me.

The Three Dollar Hoe

There is a need in the land today

     And the future of youth is at stake

The need is a good education

The thought makes good parents quake


How do you get kids to study

To prepare themselves for a job

When they are told the world owes them a living

And of their youth they are being robbed


Then when they get them to study

The price of education is so high

When they count all their other expenses

The parents just sit down and cry


There is an answer today, my friend

I will share this great truth with you

The answer is motivation

This method is not something new


Young folk must be motivated

To improve their desire to learn

There must be a goal set for them

For which their heart does yearn


There are many ways to motivate

Some expensive and some not so

It is according to the parents’ finance

And only those parents will know


It was the summer of ninteen-sixty

When a lad of thirteen said to his dad

This is my last day in this cotton field

This way of making a living is bad


Tomorrow I’ll start working at Walsh’s grocery

And I won’t have to work in this sun

The air-conditioned coolness of that building

Will make a hard job turn into fun


My feet are burning in this sand

My hands are calloused from using this hoe

Tomorrow I’ll put on a white shirt

And when I’m paid I will have more dough


On that day a goal was set

And there was no turning back

He had had enough of sun burned blisters

And dry parched lips that cracked


So you see, a hoe, a cotton field and a hot burning sun

Is a motivator that makes wise men act

It is not that they are lazy and will not work

They have just become wiser in fact


Dr. Segraves has applied himself since then

He finished high school and W. A. B. C.

Now with two doctorates and a masters in view

His dad is as pleased as can be


The kind of education he has received

Has cost thousands of dollars we know

But the amount he cost his cotton-chopping dad

Was the price of a three dollar hoe