Ever since the dust storms began all I ever feel is dirt. I’m surrounded by it in these migrant camps. Dirt everywhere. I ran away from dirt, live in dirt, work in dirt, and sleep in dirt. I never thought I would be one of those girls. The girl running away from all that she had. Running away from the country, from Kansas. All because of some storms. The storms scared me at first, but then I knew what to expect as time went on. I expected the taste of dirt in my mouth as soon as I stepped outside. I expected my pretty dresses not to stay clean. And I expected a nice warm wash at the end of the day.
What I didn’t expect was to lose Russell in the storms, never to be found again. I didn’t expect that the storms would take my brother from me, never. I had always been a good girl, doing everything my parents wanted, being a good Christian girl. I got high marks in school, never a disappointment. Why was god angry with me? Why would he take him, he was so young. He was my angel with his curly brown hair. The dirt just pulled his hand from mine. He was blown away. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. He was just gone. And now today, I lay in a tent, home from the picking fields. Who thought I would ever call a tent my home?
I hate the fields where I work. They’re are horrible. I’m surrounded by potatoes, thousands of ugly, shriveled, brown potatoes all day long. I hate the sight of a potato from day in to day out. When we come back to camp and eat potatoes, all I want to do is stand up on the tables and shout “I hate you stupid potatoes,” but everyone would stare at me.
I don’t want to be stared at. I don’t want anyone to look at me, or speak to me, or speak of me. I hate these people. They’re dirty. I’m dirty. They probably hate me. I hate that they hate me, and I hate that I hate them. I cant help it, I’m tired at the end of the day. Dirty from digging up those stupid potatoes. Stinky from not bathing like I used to back in Kansas. In Kansas I’d wash every day. Not a full bath, but I had warm water to wash with. Even if ma’ had to boil it up for me. I had warm water, and a warm bed, and a warm place to stay.
Someone just offered me a bowl of potato mush. Made me angry. Don’t they know I don’t want any potatoes? They’re brown and ugly. They put the taste of dirt back onto my tongue. That same taste I had back in the storms. With no butter, no salt, I don’t want a potato. I will starve instead. Those darn potatoes taste like flavorless boiled mush.
That’s all for tonight. Sadly, It all starts again tomorrow.
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