North Dakota Blues

By on Sep 12, 2011 in Poetry

North Dakota graphic

I’m as shriveled and dead as an autumnal leaf
I’m a-blowin’ through life on a gossamer breeze
To a ghost-ravaged town on the edge of the world
Where the rain never came and the wild winds blow

Through a sun-whitened skull on a sun-whitened plain
Only thirteen are left only seven are sane
Where the Indians roamed and the buffalo fell
And the hide hunters struck with a harbinger’s knell.

Then the homesteaders came with a robin’s egg dream
And they planted their towns like a field full of wheat
Till Depression and Dust like Colossus in black
Left their tractors to rust and a doll’s severed head…

From the wreckage she stares at the same powder blue
For the walls and her eyes have the same pallid hue
Little Woodenhead turns to an earlier time
When her mother was young and her doll was alive…

And they played under skies like a funeral pall
Where the suicides rose like a towering wall
And the peeling old church was a requiem house
But the only one there was a well-behaved mouse.

And the honor of those who survived all the rest
Like a woman in Hanks is the only one left
And a man hoary white is the eldest one there:
“My whole family is dead, and I still have my hair…”


Passion Contents


Christian J. Weaver, 33, is serving a life sentence in prison, where he's the staff writer for "The Only Voice" Newsletter, TCIPF's official prison publication. He grew up in a small town in East Tennessee, lived a reckless, inebriated life, became a Christian in the county jail, and has studied and written seriously for seven years.