dust to dust

Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl Photographer Unknown

we battened down the doors

I hid my children under layers of blankets

the silence was deafening

after all the flurry

the hot eery silence

loomed

and then we heard it

like a freight train rolling in

under the cover of night

the sun: no more

it was just there

I swear to God

it was a blue and kind day

and then: no more

the hum

and buzz

the pitch

the pressure around us dropped

I laid upon my children

they cried out

I silenced them

as if by being quiet

we could escape the wrath

the windows sealed as best we could

the ache of the howling wind

the hollow look in my husband’s eyes

we will not survive

like a dark snow storm

gathering on the plains

it came upon us

with such vengeance

and fury

I had to ask God

what we did

to deserve such a fate

to be buried alive

when were already starving to death

we are good people

my heart pounds

my children weep

my husband grabs my hand

it starts to hit the window

tiny bits of useless harmless hail but

this ain’t gonna melt

this’ll cover us

like the dirt

on a burial mound

it’ll suffocate every last fear

out of us

the windows blow out

I didn’t expect the glass

shattered

we ducked further

can that be possible?

the cupboards

o God

coffee cups and plates

so many breakable things

how did we not think of those?

will that last gulp of air

last me

we tilt our chins to our chest

pressing flesh to flesh

O God

my weight will

be what kills my kids

no one told us

how dark it would be

God’s dark angels descend upon us

the four horse man galloping

scythes in hand

leveling everything we know

please God please

what the Hell am I begging for?

a life of hand to mouth fist to fist

cover me yes cover me

bring me sweet relief

these dust bowls days

let them end

take my children first

and fast

take me with them

just take me with them

let my brute of a husband come too

gasping

covered

soot and haze

buried alive

O God

O God

I am alive

my children breathe below me

Thank you Sweet Jesus

bruised from my protection

my husband’s calloused hand

the ones that once farmed this land

with his father

that touched my face with tenderness

and a back hand so swift I never saw it comin’

is cold

no more will the hot morning coffee be made

never again will he leave me for the rails

he left on God’s great train ride

right beside me

and I didn’t even know

ashes to ashes

dust to dust

it covers every last thing

the grit in my eyes

but now I see

the great work begins

dust ain’t got nothin’ on this

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