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By John I. Blair

Because there was no mercy from the wind
In the empty vastness of this land,
Though at first we ranged the open plains
We dwelled along oasis streams
Beneath the willows and the cottonwoods.

Then we learned to tame the land
By planting bois d’arc trees in endless hedgerows
As shields against the shearing wind
And later laid out strips of sturdy plants
One row behind another as shelterbelts.

But now we’ve ripped out bois d’arc trees and shelterbelts
To make more room for raising crops,
Stripping the land as bare as when we came,
Revealing again its soul as one
That does not factor in a place for humans.

©2002 John I. Blair

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Name: Mary Email:
Comment: Ah, so true! And are we going to see the dust bowl's return as well?



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