Land refused to ground them.
Sea gusts blew first generations
from England to Connecticut.
New York ancestors braved blasts
in Patriot’s Canada, scattered,
buried children, lost connections.
Lumber drew them farther West:
Chicago wagon makers, Kenosha
carpenters. Nebraska tree farmers
hoped for new standing timber.
A final exhaled warm soul
chilled a chinook in Oelrichs.
Prairie grassland blasts blistered
Buffalo Gap near eldest son.
We inherited South Dakota
wind’s tempestuous survival.
Poet’s note: In case you didn’t know, I was born and reared in South Dakota. This poem placed first in the South Dakota State Poetry Society’s 39th Annual contest and was published in their Pasque Petals magazine, Fall 2015 edition. I’ve been eyebrows deep in my father’s genealogy. Our ancestors’ stories inspired this poem.