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—After photographs by Dorothea Lange taken in the Texas Panhandle

Alone, a woman stands in black and white
surveying a discolored sky above
and nothing on the earth around her, save
a windmill, with its blades congealed on film,

vain, futile. Pride has not deserted her,
her stance proclaims; but she has nothing else—
no hope, and no defiance possible.
Despair inhabits her; a hand may start

to sketch a gesture, loosely, but it falls
in uselessness. Her eyes, whatever hue
in fact, are dark; her face is drained of all
futurity, as arid as the soil.

To act is meaningless; the land resists
whatever project that she might conceive.
Her husband, children—absent from the scene
of tragedy. She bears it all, arms crossed.

—Catharine Savage Brosman

Image by Lindell Dillon via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

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