A Lesson In Living

A lesson in living

by Jessie Veeder

this land
from where my heart sprang
where my father took his first breath
my grandmother her last

horizon to horizon
I turned from you
head wrenched back over my shoulder
and I run to you again
asking you to find me here


I once knew you
this place
and I scream to you to break this hurt against your granite stones
I lurch my despair off your buttes
I march
I march
I march
across your fields

I plead

as you gently twist my hair in the wind
and cradle me in the rolling hills
you return to me the rosy cheeks of my youth
and lead my feet on trails I once cut
over and
over and

all the while trees are falling
roots torn from the ground
birds crashing to earth

storms howling

and you soak up the tears
back to the dirt
as the first purple flower of spring pushes through
you speak not a word

and go on living

*This poem is published in “On Second Thought,” the magazine of the North Dakota Humanities Council. Please visit their website and check out their wonderful mission and programming.

5 thoughts on “A Lesson In Living

  1. Jessie – you are more talented than I ever imagined! Your essay on the dogs and the ranch is beautiful, and your poetry is touching. Thank you for sharing your lovely voice – on print and in song! Thanks for being you –


  2. Thanks for your support! Just flinging my words out there hoping to connect, because I know there are hopeless adventurers, dog lovers and nature lovers out there like me. Keep coming back, and come to visit us someday!

  3. Hello Jessie:

    I was on the Watford City Facebook page and came across your website and WOW! I just read this poem “A lesson in living” and cried..My father was born in Rawson in 1917 and his father was Evan Martin Fering who homesteaded there many years prior. As a matter of fact he gave part of his homesteading acres to build the Rawson Cemetary.
    I would like to purchase your poetry books. please email me how I could do that.

    Thank you for your sharing your creativity with everyone. I am glad I came across your website today..

    Take Care, Susan

    • Hi Susan,
      I am so glad you like the site. Thanks so much for reading. What an interesting story about your great-grandfather and the cemetery. Thanks for sharing. As far as a poetry book, I don’t currently have a book published of poems. If you are interested in the music, which is original, I can send you some CDs or you may find me on iTunes if you listen to music that way. Visit the Jessie Veeder Music tab if you haven’t already and you can hear some of my tunes.
      Have a happy July 4th!

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