September 14, 2009


As I am on vacation right now and have little time to finish any of the thoughts I have been pursuing, I thought I would re-run a piece I wrote a while back about the wagon trains and quest for westward expansion.

They rolled along relentlessly
All brave, some foolish,
optimists following dreams
across the far horizon.
In waves of grass and seas of sand,
piloting their prairie schooners
With gunpowder, hardtack
And barrels of whiskey.
Onward and westward
Canvas sails tying their hopes inside.

They came from the cities
And far distant lands
Dragging unwitting families,
And mountains of baggage.
Looking for prosperity,
And a cure for their wanderlust.
Little could stop them,
Not cholera, hailstorms or Indian wars.
Dropping their dead along the way in
Unmarked graves to litter the trail.

But if their livestock died,
that was catastrophe.
The dream stopped there.
Some gave up, sold off, turned back
To the life they knew before.
Broken and battered, but wiser by far.
Stubborn ones stayed, making the
Best of the broken wagon,
building cities from vanquished dreams.
Abilene, Chimney Rock, Laramie.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Cynthia!

    Hard to understand just how pioneering these folks had to be. Creating lives from the dust; hardship, disease and isolation. What could they see?