Train line end, four miles past. Mud road
flat, so flat forever, wind blowing hard
like damnation coming across plains
rather than welcome. But it was to be
home. Work the land five year, and it
Immigrant hands. Father, sons, mother,
daughters. seven all with naught but
bundles and a czech language between.
Some halting deutsch to make connection
in the new world, northern end of line, November.
Blue, gray, damping cloud sweeping from west,
snow to begin, and none but flat, flat, alone and
none to die. Not here. Not so far from anything.
Off northeast, a copse, a coulee. the only dip
for anywhere to horizon. Running now, the men,
the boys… to drop down below the rim.. a protect if
only from the bite, for the moment.
They dug that mud in the coulee wall, carved it out
to form a cave depression that would later be braced
by the wood from the copse. But at first simply saved
by the hardness of the frozen circumference —
Oh Lord, welcome to America, welcome home
to a place where souls survived and made a life
from hearts and desperation and wanting, in the