Fifty years ago these Iowa Amish boys fled to the shelter of cornfields rather than obey the law that compelled them to attend public schools. I was just a little older than these boys but oh how did I look up to them.

A few years earlier I had also escaped to these same fields. Like them, I was exercising my religious freedom.

The Great Escape

The corn was as high as Iowa skies
when we were sent off to work, my brother and I
hoes in hand, the land to defend
overalls were armor, we were 12 and 10

“Uproot weeds and noxious vines”
Those were the orders and we were resigned
to wander among stalks twice our size
we worked for an hour and then got wise

We sat in the dirt, black and moist
and fled to a world where we rejoiced
we fashioned cities, towns with clumps of clay
cows, sheep, people. We were Gods for a day

Weeds were spared, sentences commuted
our playing was praying to which we were suited
we’d brought along water so we made mud
and all our sons and daughters were drowned in a flood

The day was done and we returned to the fold
the days grew shorter, the nights grew cold

And now at times when I’m at my desk
I want to walk outside and show I am blessed
and play in the dirt as the hour grows late
and once again make my great escape

Until July 23, when my Kickstarter campaign ends, every day, I am posting new and old poems and songs.


  • Thank You Dennis!! for all the wonderful songs we’ve seen and heard here on this blog that you have been writing daily for just for US! It is a continuous reminder of your talents. I want to remind you that the 23rd isn’t so far away. My reminder and hope for the rest of us is that EVERYONE will respond with a contribution SOON so that Dennis may be all the more inspired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *