Soil is not my soil

With bleeding gums from scurvy, liced and scabbed we,
the sea-sick, found our way to freedom from the belly
of the ships and built our life in hardship of the soil.
We fenced, we ditched, we broke the stones from fields.
The summers were too hot, the winters way too cold, but we
prospered and our children grew to be the backbone of the
west. But not for me. I longed for what I left, for woods and
lakes, for sound of brooks, for taste of apples and
for the language that my daughters cannot speak. It’s time
to rest, but I wonder how I can accept that I will
soon be buried in this soil, that differs from my blood.

Swedish Immigrant Augustus F. Sherman collection

Swedish Immigrant Augustus F. Sherman collection

Margret challenge us with Immigrant portrait at toads, and every one of them was also an emigrant. For those that have read the emigrant books by Wilhelm Moberg, you know that this could very well be Kristina who is also part of the Musical named after her.


February 17, 2017

8 responses to “Soil is not my soil

  1. Oh this is lovely Bjorn 🙂 especially touched by these lines; “But not for me. I longed for what I left, for woods and lakes, for sound of brooks, and for taste of apples and for the language that my daughters cannot speak.”

  2. The last four lines hurt. One sacrifices so much in the name of freedom and a better future for self and for loved ones. But when the end is near, the heart and the blood and the bones yearn for the soil that birthed them.

  3. I like that you didn’t sugarcoat the ache to be around what is most familiar. I feel for the protagonist, knowing that while she is satisfied her descendants have a place in this new country, she still does not feel this is her home.

  4. Oh, yes I agree. I think that is why many immigrants settled in places that reminded them of the homeland… Great story-poem. I think not being able to speak your native tongue as often would be very difficult

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