Second installment on The Oregon Trail poems:
The bone-white wagon tongue,
its carriage long ago disintegrated
and fallen into splintery planks,
laps thirstily at the dry sod along the
edge of the trail, finding only
parched earth and no water, burrs
and beetles instead of hydration.
The dry stalks of Indian grass,
burned rust red in the summer sun,
clink and snap against each other
as if an ordained primordial rhythm,
mimicking the clicking of ‘hoppers
as they pass from stalk to stalk
and me, on another visit to this trail.
More prairie than desert, but still
more a place to leave behind, only
insects, lizards, hawks and the curious
chickadees seem to make it home,
this dusty stretch of history.