Daily Archives: March 8, 2016

The Samuels Family Leave for California at 11 AM on a Sunday Morning While the Sky Shone only in the Imagination of the Young


 A dust bowl poem I wrote for a school project, based off of The Grapes of Wrath

It was breakfast time and the porridge was piping hot.
At the table I dug my hands into my pockets an’ pulled out the dime I got from
Selling my old stuffed bear (his name is Franklin),
An’ I said hey Ma look what I got for my bear but she wasn’t listenin’,
She was pacin’ around the house lookin’ real worn an’ scairt an’ her face creased
An’ I could even smell the worry comin’ offa her face so I
Shut myself up an’ stared at the floorboards.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do but Sissy says we’re s’pose to pile up into that ole
Model T Pap usta drive us around in, goin’ around in crazy circles,
Kicking up the dust. Says we gonna go a million miles, like it’s a race,
Like it’s the derby, till we collapse.
I drew circles around in the dirt on the floor to pass the time,
With my toes dirty like White turnips straight out of the soil.
(I don wanna b’lieve her, but Ma says its true.)

It was breakfast time and my porridge was gettin’ cold, but I couldn’t eat none,
So I fed it to the dog, an’ Ma said I was bein’ plum crazy for
Givin’ away food like that to ‘im, said we’ve got millions of miles ‘head of us an’ You ain’t even wanna eat ‘fore ya go! Said it’s shameful, an’ ain’t you hungry?
But I couldn’t tell her that no matter how much the hunger gnawed away at my insides,
The thought of me leavin’ home made it all the worser.

So I put my hand on my mouth an’ I run out to the front steps an’ I
Puked on them, an’ Ma said Jezus Filbert an’ what we gon’ do ‘bout you?
An’ she put her hand to her forehead like she was ‘bout to faint an’ we
Got her back inside like we always done an’ fanned her face an’ give her some
Water till her cheeks weren’t so shiny an’ her eyes weren’t so glassy.

When she stood back up again she shooed us offa her an’ tol’ us to get goin’, so we
Piled up the things to put inta the car an’ I could nary hold onta the chairs
But I done it, I done it for Ma an’ she had a look in her eye like she could
Do anything she set her mind to,
An’ me Sissy and Vivian all walked out of the house an’ stepped into the sunlight.

Copyright 2016 Golden Star Poetry