PEOPLE OF THE PRAIRIE

Chelsea Peterson

Young, old, and in-between,
timid, clever, or bold, yet always wise,
the prairie people cultivate life,
collecting, counting, sorting, and spreading seed,
planting, watering, and watching,
often, pulling and killing,
endlessly wondering, quietly whistling,
always diversifying the color, shape, and sound of their surrounds.

They love the prairie in all of its seasons.
Claim a favorite they may,
but secretly they anticipate each
because they’ll be with the prairie through them all.

At the peak of the heat,
they blossom from the buds.
Ripening and relaxing,
they lean in the autumn wind’s cool relief.

When the fields freeze and snow piles,
when the mammals have retired
and the birds have gone on their way,
the prairie people too slow down,
resting dormant for a while
to consider the life past, life dormant, and life to come.

They do not mind the quiet,
though, soon enough, they await the spring,
wondering when they will hear the next bird song,
when they will see green again.
Sure enough, alongside the green shoots
their hopes rise,
and they watch the prairie grow with quiet smiles.

The time has come for them to carry out their winter’s planning.
Lament not do they of the winter’s passing.
With the spring, ready to render yet more new life,
they boldly go forth into the fields,
rooting their feet into the soil’s fibers,
intertwining their lives with the stalks,
becoming a part of the prairie they stand within.

The prairie—could not be named as such
without the people who call it
home.

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April is National Poetry Month and since we like to celebrate nature with poetry and prose we’re going to share with you throughout the month some of the poems (and prose) from our own anthology called NATURAL VOICES: CELEBRATING NATURE THROUGH OPENED EYES. There are 14 authors in the book and one author’s name will be drawn randomly each time we post a poem or prose excerpt from the book until all authors have been represented. Check our news blog regularly for the poem/prose posts.

Read more about National Poetry Month here: https://poets.org/national-poetry-month

We’re celebrating #nationalpoetrymonth, #naturalvoicesanthology

Get your copy of the anthology here: https://www.naturalland.org/merchandise/