Reading The Grapes of Wrath

Everything is dust. The people are dust; the fields,
dust; the towns, dust; and all is fading.
Okies: those sun-scorched, sweat-drenched, dusty
people lived in their musty houses—here.
 
These houses dress in the rags of mourning now:
broken shutters, a crushed roof, an empty bedroom,
while cobwebs climb on the house, voraciously
attacking and pirating all the corners.
 
Now the Okies live on their trucks like lost turtles,
carrying their homes with them as they peer into this
dark land. They wear wrinkled foreheads,
gray expressions, remote and aged.
Sorrow only touched the edge of their sleepy eyes
before, but now holds captive the faces cloaked
with resignation and dark shadows that dance.
 
Their clothes faded and bland, they pray for a job, for
a cup of flour, for a teaspoon of yeast.
The camps are full of such troubles and dizzying
dreams and the quiet swish of the winds as the dust
swirls, red and ripe.

Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.