The Oregon Trail - Sensing the ghosts
of pioneers who traversed the trail
a century and a half ago:
Tall prairie grass, wind-swept and
burnished gold, whispers with the
long-dead voices of all who passed
on this trail in their dream journey
to Oregon, or even California, or who
died, disease-ridden, exhausted, to be
buried just off the rutted trail
under a lonely stretch of sod
or cairned atop a barren lava bed.
Hawks hover, then spiral effortless
high above, as they did so many years
ago, dark against a soft patchwork
quilt of azure blue sky and creeping clouds.
The occasional click of grasshoppers
is barely audible in the billowing, brittle
grass shaken by the interminable wind.
Dry bones of beasts and hapless humans
dot the edges of the trail, mute testimony
to the brutality of the westward rush
and the following of the Oregon Trail.