Celebrate: We Want to Know

Celebrate: We want to know

Sing to me of South Dakota, tell it
like Carl Sandburg did about Chicago’s big shoulders.
Tell me about the workers
of infinite variety within this state.
How goes their day?

Tell me the what, tell me the why,
tell me about a day in your life.
Did Spring creep up on you one fine morning
on cats’ feet as you beheld your first crocus
with the snow of winter barely gone?

Who has not had a night of the dark soul
that broke on through to the other side?
Did you light your candle on both ends with a
flame oh so bright and now, years later,
are you ever more wise?

Have you climbed the former Harney’s Peak and
from that vantage point seen five different states?
Standing on the dome, did you hear Black Elk speak?
Were the words whispered? Did they roar?
Tell me.

Tell me if Sioux Falls is the best little city,
on a summer Friday evening’s air,
as the young and the restless,
arm in arm, slow dance down the sculpture walk
on Philip Avenue.

Tell me about the endless prairie,
quarter sectioned, row cropped and drilled.
Tell me of short grass, cattle and small town bars,
blue skies and red tail hawks,
until you reach the distant Hills.

Then sing to me of Rapid City’s
Main Street Square popping
to sounds of music
mingling with the sunset colors rainbowing
from the pulsing water fountain’s spray.

Sing me all of South Dakota,
sing me your life,
for the good of poetry
is the celebrating, the telling
of the Golden Age of We.

All that is blessed, all that is struggle, tell me your heart.
Sing of yourself, sing South Dakota.
I want to hear the voices of angels,
I want to hear Walt Whitman’s barbaric yelps
singing through you.

Bruce Roseland, 6/11/18

We want to hear from you. Go to SDPoetry.org to enter our poetry contest, chapbook contest, or to submit to Pasque Petals. More details are available on our website.


Featured image by Kyle Taylor, under the creative commons license on Flickr.

2 thoughts on “Celebrate: We Want to Know”

  1. Bruce, I so enjoyed reading this poem – which was VERY understandable! Thanks for sharing it.

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