AS A THANK YOU: AN INVITATION
Like Hamlin Garland's Daughter of the Middle Border, Cynthia Frank-Stupnik identifies with many landscapes in the Midwest. She began writing in Minnesota over thirty years ago. When she moved away from the Mississippi River to live in South Dakota, the land her German-Russian ancestors claimed in the 1870s, she began writing in earnest. Her writing reflects her faith, family, ancestors, friends, acquaintances, the varied landscapes that tug at her heart, and her experiences as an English instructor.
A Daughter of the Middle Border
Garland writes about my earthy grandmothers
who left eastern hamlets
to follow their wander-lusting husbands
across Dakota prairies.
These petticoat farmers produced the manna,
feeding the men who grappled with the land.
But their own hunger was harder to stave off
without churches, schools, and McClure's.
North of Yankton, my youthful father tired of treeless plains,
left the rise and fall of the coteau.
Hankering after richer pastures,
he drifted east, sinking his spade in Minnesota's fields.
Years later, I, like my grandmothers,
trekked to Dakota to work alongside my spouse.
We tilled the land in a different way,
reclaiming their inheritance of Canaan's blessings.
While home for now may be inside this Harvey Dunn landscape
of azure skies, green-gold desert, and pasque flowers-
I feel Twain's anchor, Old Man River,
tugging at my veins.
(c) 2002 Stupnik