Lost Children of the Prairie

Some rise like wheat,
                 hover between land and sky
despite drought and hail.

 Soon, ripe seed heads
                                        are severed
and broken roads take them
where they will.

 They float off to red stars on maps
like chaff
            or bull thistles
                      or yellow mustard
that try to make do
in mud
          or sand
                    or rocky places. 

Like drifters,
who left sea villages
        and mountain valleys
to settle here,
        to uproot ancient prairie,
                 to grow children and grain
                               from need and desire.

And then watch it all blow away
                               with one mad
                                                  whirlwind of fire.

Finalist in the 37th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest and published in Off Channel 2010,  the annual collection of contest winners and finalists. Available at www.midwestwritingcenter.org.

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