Dakota Ballad

By Evelyn (Ziegler) Tonra

Tonra, Evelyn (Ziegler). "Dakota Ballad." 1956

They call me foreign because Where ripened wheat is a
my home is north
golden wave
Where all is quiet And men in fields move
and the land is flat
And wild birds flutter Where cows and calves
over grass and hay
eat new-made hay
Where crickets sing And women at five
me asleep at night
go fetch them
And wolves and coyotes
Where children chase
howl to the moon
a run-away creek
Where wind, sand and rain And the day sings
play tag
and endless song
And the sun keeps all
They call me foreign.
in harmony.
They call me foreign.
They call me foreign because
my home is north
Where the snow lies down They call me foreign because
and rests itself
my home is north
And ice embraces Where the land is flat
the lilac shrubs
and all alone
Where worms sleep long
And neighbors sing
in a lap of earth
in back-yard talk
And footsteps ring Where dogs bark freely
in high pitched notes
without hesitation
Where face looks flushed And bread is baked by
with chilly blood
open windows
And breaths go out Where home is warmth
in puffs of white.
and all is quiet
They call me foreign.
And a voice is
known to all
They call me foreign because They call me foreign
my home is north

By Evelyn (Ziegler) Tonra, 1956.
(Evelyn is of German-Russian heritage and grew up on a farm near Beulah, ND.)
Reprinted with permission of Evelyn (Ziegler) Tonra.

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