Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nancy Bo Flood - Immigrant's Song: Coal Dust, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Immigrant's Song: Coal Dust, Peppers, and Tomatoes
Nancy Bo Flood

I come from coal dust
And hopes taken down, down, down
Deep mine shaft down underground.
Dig hard, spend lean, save, save, save,
Before the shaft fills and dreams drown.
Homestead rich black fields.
Truck-farm tall corn, fat round tomatoes,
Finest sweet peppers, red, yellow, green.
Sell a bushel, soul hopes,
Fingers hold earth.
Buy it.
Buy all the acres you plow.
Wed. Birth. Bury.
Plant again,
Corn grows from one yellow seed
Into an immigrant’s dream.

©Nancy Bo Flood. All rights reserved.

It never ceases to amaze me the stories poetry can tell and the way poets can use words. Nancy Bo Flood paints a picture here with such economy, subtle rhythm, and fresh images that combine to create a powerful, sweeping story. Good stuff, I say, lacking that same ability right now!

You can find more "good stuff" in her latest collection, Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo. While the setting itself may not be familiar, the verses make it all real, tangible, alive.

And if you want more (and of course you do!) and something different, too...  Nancy Bo Flood's No-Name Baby was recently named one of Bank Street's 100 Best Children's Books of 2012. She is definitely a wonderful weaver of words, and I'm thrilled to have Nancy Bo Flood here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, Robert Schechter gave us Mistaken Identity. Tomorrow... Debbie Levy shares The Garden Secret! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Ed DeCaria said...

I loved this, especially the last line. I'll never look at a kernal of corn quite the same way again.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

It IS amazing how so few words can create a story so large and evocative!
thanks Nancy, and thanks Greg!

tanita✿davis said...

POETRY. Nancy Bo Flood writes POETRY now. Good grief. There are some people who can do anything.

"Dig hard, spend lean" reminds me of "lean in." Love that.