« IndietroContinua »
On the left and right hand side of the road,
I am the prairie, mother of men, waiting.
They are mine, the threshing crews eating beefsteak, the farm-boys driving steers to the railroad cattle pens.
They are mine, the crowds of people at a Fourth-of-July basket picnic, listening to a lawyer read the Declaration of Independence, watching the pin-wheels and Roman candles at night, the young men and women, two by two, hunting the by-paths and kissing bridges.
They are mine, the horses looking over a fence in the frost of late October, saying good-morning to the horses hauling wagons of rutabaga to market.
They are mine, the old zigzag rail fences, the new barb W11e.
The cornhuskers wear leather on their hands.
Fall-time and winter apples take on the smoulder of the five o'clock November sunset: falltime, leaves, bonfires, stubble—the old things go, and the earth is grizzled.
The land and the people hold memories, even among the ant-hills and the angleworms, among the toads and woodroaches, among grave-stone writings rubbed' out by the rain. They keep old things that never grow old.
The frost loosens corn husks. •
• * * * * * * * *
The phantom of a yellow rooster flaunting a scarlet comb, on top of a dung-pile crying hallelujah to the streaks of daylight;
The phantom of an old hunting dog nosing in the underbrush for muskrats, barking at a coon in a treetop at midnight, chewing a bone, chasing his tail round a corncrib;
The phantom of an old workhorse taking the steel point of a plow across a forty-acre field in spring, hitched to a harrow in summer, hitched to a wagon among cornshocks in fall:
• These phantoms come into the talk and wonder of people on the front porch of a farm-house late summer nights.
“The shapes that are gone are here,” said an old man with a cob pipe in his teeth—one night in Kansas with a hot wind on the alfalfa.
Look at six eggs
Listen to six mockingbirds
Look at songs
When the morning sun is on the trumpet-vine blossoms, sing at the kitchen pans: Shout All Over God's Heaven.
When the rain slants on the potato hills, and the sun plays a silver shaft on the last shower, sing to the bush at the backyard fence: Mighty Lak a Rose.
When the icy sleet pounds on the storm windows and the house lifts to a great breath, sing for the outside hills: The Ole Sheep Done Know the Road, the Young Lambs Must Find the Way.
Spring slips back with a girl face, calling always: “Any new songs for me? Any new songs?”
O prairie girl, be lonely, singing, dreaming, waiting. Your lover comes, your child comes, the years creep with toes of April rain on new-turned sod.
O prairie girl, whoever leaves you only crimson poppies to talk with, whoever puts a good-by kiss on your lips and never comes back—
There is a song deep as the fall-time redhaws, long as the layer of black loam we go to, the shine of the morningstar over the corn belt, the wave line of dawn up a wheat valley.
O prairie mother, I am one of your boys.
I have loved the prairie as a man with a heart shot full of pain over love.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.
I speak of new cities and new people. I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down, a sun dropped in the west. I tell you there is nothing in the world only an ocean of to-morrows, a sky of to-morrows.
I am a brother of the cornhuskers who say at sundown: To-morrow is a day. Carl Sandburg
Look you—the flesh, how it has fallen away,
So our lives run
Robert Paine Scripts,
.-- - - - - - - - - - -