The Path of Our Sorrow   3 comments

Miss Freeland said,
“During the Great War we fed the world.
We couldn’t grow enough wheat
to fill all the bellies.
The price the world paid for our wheat
was so high
it swelled our wallets
and our heads,
and we bought bigger tractors,
more acres,
until we had mortgages
and rent
and bills
beyond reason,
but we all felt so useful, we didn’t notice.
Then the war ended and before long,
Europe didn’t need our wheat anymore,
they could grow their own.
But we needed Europe’s money
to pay our mortgage,
our rent,
our bills.
We squeezed more cattle,
more sheep,
onto less land,
and they grazed down the stubble
till they reached root.
And the price of wheat kept dropping
so we had to grow more bushels
to make the same amount of money we made before,
to pay for all the equipment, all the land,
and the more sod we plowed up,
the drier things got,
because the water that used to collect there
under the grass,
biding its time,
keeping things alive through the dry spells
wasn’t there anymore.
Without the sod the water vanished,
the soil turned to dust.
Until the wind took it,
lifting it up and carrying it away.
Such sorrow doesn’t come suddenly,
there are a thousand steps to take
before you get there.”
But now,
sorrow climbs up our front steps,
big as Texas, and we didn’t even see it coming,
even though it’d been making its way straight for us
all along.

September 1934

from Out of the Dust
By Karen Hesse

“Such sorrow doesn’t come suddenly,
there are a thousand steps to take
before you get there.”

Therefore Deliver up their Children to the Famine
A Dust Bowl in California
Good Old Days?: The Dust Bowl

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3 responses to “The Path of Our Sorrow

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  1. Funny to come across this particular post. All last year I was commenting to my wife my concern that all the tree lines were being cut down and now this year we are in an incredible drought in Wisconsin. I think of that very thing, now, every time the wind picks up…

  2. I just heard from a couple of sources that the extreme heat is damaging the corn crop in the midwest. If the people of the United States don’t turn back to God, the Lord may destroy our food production. If we repent of our sin, the Lord is well able to heal our land.

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