Out on the prairie so wide
The school buses wending their way
From the towns they travel
For miles on the gravel
An hour before it is day.
And the winter wind blows
Cross the corn stubble rows
Where the dirt has turned the snow gray.
And the children walk down to the road
From the farmhouses' warm kitchen glow,
Stand waiting and yearning
To see the bus turning
And the sweep of the headlights' glow.
And they climb up inside
And away they all ride
Past the farms and the fields full of snow.
And they think about math as they go
And the chemistry of atmosphere
And unequal equations
And French conjugations
And the sonnets of William Shakespeare
And then up the drive
At the school they arrive
On the darkest day of the year.
And in due course they will fly
Away, young women and men
With mixed emotions
Cross mountains and oceans
And become what we could not have been.
We will tenderly kiss them
Goodbye and miss them
And never will see them again.