Stone Shell

Stone Shell

Stone Shell

By Duane Herrmann

Rock house stands
alone
in what once was
a front yard,
now pasture
from prairie.
No roof –
long gone,
doors too, and windows.
Did the family take them,
or scavengers, or time?
Red cedars crowd
from the gully in back
marching to invade:
no one keeps their place.
The house had charm,
the lines say that.
Stunted trees say:
poor soil, no crops,
and the family,
future in debt,
moved on
with pain and hope
that next time
will be better.
Next time,
maybe,
it will rain.

(Previously published in the Topeka Genealogical Society Quarterly.)

 
Duane Herrmann

Duane L. Herrmann was born in Topeka, a fifth generation Kansan who was farming on a tractor by age 13.  His continued connection to the land is reflected in his stories and poems.  He is also a historian of the Baha’i Faith in Kansas.  His history of Topeka won the Ferguson Kansas Book Award in 2007.  Earlier he had received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship.  His work has been published in a dozen countries in four languages and has been quoted and cited as an authority on various aspects of the Baha’i Faith.  His books can be found in Libraries through the US, in Europe and the Middle East.  He is an educator who has been adjunct faculty for Allen College and a guest lecturer at several universities.  All this despite a traumatic childhood embellished by dyslexia, ADD and PTSD.

Featured image courtesy, Duane Herrmann.