Graphic from the book for the top of odd-numbered pages

The Promise of Bread


Out on the frozen uplands, underneath the snow
      and sleet,
In the bosom of the plowland sleeps the Promise
      of the Wheat.
With the ice for head-and-footstone, and a snowy
      shroud outspread
In the frost-locked tomb of winter sleeps the Miracle
      of Bread.
With its hundred thousand reapers and its hundred
      thousand men,
And the click of guard and sickle and the flails that
      turn again,
And drover's shout, and snap of whips and creak of
      horses' tugs,
And a thin red line o' gingham girls that carry water
      jugs;
And yellow stalks and dagger beards that stab thro'
      cotton clothes,
And farmer boys a-shocking wheat in long and
      crooked rows,
And dust-veiled men on mountain stacks, whose
      pitchforks flash and gleam;
And threshing engines shrieking songs in syllables
      of steam,
And elevators painted red that lift their giant arms
And beckon to the Harvest God above the brooding
      farms,
And loaded trains that hasten forth, a hungry world
      to fill__
All sleeping just beneath the snow, out yonder on the
      hill.
___C. L. Edson
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 53-54
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
September 11, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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