Waving Winter Wheat. Photo by deh solutions. https://tinyurl.com/2kff49ws

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Winter Wheat

With promise and purpose born of the soil and the soul, nurtured and toiled,
Russian Mennonites emigrated to plant red seed in new loam prairies
their black earth left to fallow beneath a pall cast from St. Petersburg.

Golden waves enveloped the undulating hills of Kansas homesteads freed
from native grass by plow, created and filled with willing hearts and sturdy hands,
enriched for the empty scythe to work binding sheaves to raise shocks afield.

Solitary botanist trekked across the granite surface to satisfy his childhood questions,
across the face of rising mountains, across deepening gulch carved by eroded
memory pushed up from the depths of the unseen forces of God’s earth.

His cynosure, a wreath upon his aged brow, ever green but destined
a monument where alloy contrived to plow the earth: a wound unsealed,
Mount Trelease where this lone pioneer discovered plants that heal.

Beneath Mount Trelease beneath blue sky, clear as the creek falling away,
pine thickets were plowed on the face of the earth with expressionless toil:
a pall descended across the Great Divide to depths of despair unfathomed.

Sons, as seed born of the land, nurtured amid childhood dreams of glory
under an August sun with promises of life lived beyond winter snow
on fields stretching to tomorrows to be winnowed at harvest unseen.

Winter wheat lies beneath snowy fields planted with faith in tomorrow,
a memory and a promise brought forward through years of golden days,
when young men were pioneers in life . . . were tillers of God’s earth.