Our house poked between the sand dunes
like a half-buried shrimp boat.
Sand leaned against the tops of fences.
We turned our plates on the dinner table
and covered the baby's crib with a wet sheet
at night to keep her
Dust pneumonia was as common
as rash and bankrupt farms.
It's time to leave, Mother,
I said. We gave our land
to the bank. We gave our mule
to Jordon, who took on the burden
of trying to feed it.
Don't worry, Mother. California
is like a big green harbor
waiting for us. Mother nodded. We tied on
the beds and furniture and cooking pans
and threw in the kids
out of sentimental reasons
and pointed the car