DEMETER WAITING by Kara Gull

Demeter Waiting is a song that weaves in imagery from the Demeter/Persephone myth to express the endless waiting in times of drought. Demeter’s anger at Hades for stealing her daughter Persephone caused a great and terrible famine on the earth. Throughout the past six years of drought in Southwestern Nebraska, many of us have felt as though we were suffering at the hands of the gods … that a much larger force is at work…the anger of a god scorned. I also wanted to capture the particular fate of women, farmer’s wives, during the time when I was a young girl. I can remember my own mother standing at the windowsill certain summers, looking defeated. The women stayed at home, tending the children, waiting, always waiting, and praying for the rain.

 

Demeter Waiting

 

Leans her head against the windowsill

Fans her neck with the electric bill

It’s the middle of June and still no rain…

Corn is burning in the field

Wheat prices won’t meet the yield

And there ain’t no change on the weathervane

 

The children all have been tucked into their beds

Storm clouds to the west

Just won’t come to a head

It’s another waiting game

The anger of Demeter burns the plains

 

Now she’s known as a farmer’s wife

Quite a change from the city life

She’ll learn to gamble with the land

Dust is risin’ from the ground

Grasshoppers are all around

Is there no end to the gods demands?

 

The children all have been tucked into their beds

Storm clouds to the west

Just won’t come to a head

It’s another waiting game

The anger of Demeter burns the plains

 

Who, who will bring the rain?

 

The pastor’s preaching carnal sin,

The men are at the bar again

Drinking down the only grain for sale.

Now her only daughter’s gone

The bank’s forclosin’ on the farm

Has all her hard work gone to hell?

 

The children all were once tucked into their beds

Storm clouds to the west

Still won’t come to a head

It’s always been a waiting game

The anger of Demeter burns the plains

 

Who, who will bring the rain?

 

Leans her head against the windowsill

Fans her neck with the electric bill

It’s the middle of June and still no rain…