South Dakota Wind

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.

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