the virgin forests were cut.
They blasted and burned,
denuding fields cleared to the horizon,
revealing light shows at sunset
and the late night aurora borealis,
which entertained us in childhood.
When we were small, we could lie down
on prairie grass and stubble;
native weeds so brittle,
they held us up above the earth
like eastern mystics on a bed of nails.
Our father cursed that sod
when he plowed the quarter acre
garden in those fallow fields
that had failed him years before
forcing him to take a city job.
Over farmed, the Sandy loam
that remained, was held firmly
only by sod which went dry in summer,
under the sun's hot eye,
siphoning water from the surface,
as the rest, on deeper levels
sought its way to lake level
We should have worshiped
the quack grass with its matted roots;
thanked it for holding the topsoil,
and preventing the relentless prairie wind
from taking what little dirt was left.