"The fertillest soil this side of the Tigris
and Euphrates"—so the schoolchildren
of the countryside are taught, of their land
flat as a checkerboard to the hem of the sky.
The giant sky, pale green at dusk, stays black
long after morning cow-milking time.
Wind is incessant in winter, so
that snow falls sideways, like arctic sunshine.
This land of Lutherans and sugar beets
thickens its marvelous thinness here at the edge
of a Red River whose windings alone
betray the rectilinear. Downtown,
parking space is no problem, and grain-fed health
rewards those God's grandeur does not drive mad.