Black Dirt

Black Dirt

A Poem by felioness

Dust Bowl Migration And The Great Depression


 "The sky, least ways how I knowed it, 
always looked black. Mama said rain clouds look 
summit like 'em but I aint never seen that,
just clouds of dirt blowin across the sky." 

"That goddamned wind never rests, 
and that dirt makes my poor mama cry.
"Black rollers” we calls ‘em. 
I hope I sees rain 'for I die."

“Mama gits mad me sayin goddamn,
sez it be usin the Lord’s name in vain,
but my daddy allus said it
now he’s dead so I sez it the same.

… ain’t no God anyways.”

“Me being the oldest... almost ten,
means I'm man of the house now, but then,
we don’t have no house, we be dirt poor;
just this broken-down truck and lots of dirt, that's for sure."

Turning, the boy wiped away woe;
sunburnt face naked with hurt, 
streaking both cheeks with 
that goddamned black dirt.

He was a bony little cuss, 
small hands calloused and bruised, 
dressed in patches and rags and
worn-out old shoes.

I took some notes, time to time,
more to impress then to solve the crime.
There wasn't much this ole sheriff could do 
swamped with migrants; sometimes unscrupulous ones too.

The kid and his family were trying hard to get by.
Fleeing the dust bowl and that goddammed black sky. 
Too bad they was robbed and their daddy had to die.

The lad tried to be brave, lifting his head
but I knew in my heart, soon, he too could be dead.
Survival was tenuous during this goddammed depression
and I saw little hope in that poor kid’s expression.

Alone, without a father, 
they was robbed of everything ... 
left without a goddamned dime. 
Tragic victims of a terrible time.

© 2019 felioness

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It was indeed a terrible time. The majority of the Dust Bowl residents stuck it out, but many migrated to California, where their descendants settled and flourished.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks John, I remember hearing stories about it from my grandma and her sisters, life was tough. Th.. read more

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Added on June 24, 2019
Last Updated on June 25, 2019
Tags: historic, the great depression, story poem, dust bowl



Saskatchewan, Canada

I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. I am a daydreamer who lives to write. I live quietly sharing my home with two dogs and three cats. more..