Prairie Poetry   
  Wisps of Sacagawea, February 11, 1805

Wisps of my near-frozen breath rise above me. I tap on the ice in the
bucket next to my blankets and robes. Even with the smoke, there is the
smell of cold fresh snow inside the tent.

first snowstorm
listening for foot creaks
outside the tent.

Sunlight gleams through holes between the skins of my tent. Thoughts of
chores and horses. I slide out from the warmth of buffalo robes, pull on
stiff, ice-cold clothes, open the flap to a glistening white universe.

wisps of steam rising -
from beneath a horse
and from a heating kettle

Amid the rising sounds of wind, we set out cakes. Filled with hot golden
tea, a mug's warmth flows into my hands.

my baby kicks -
strands of my hair hang
in the rising wisps of tea


Note: Sacagawea gave birth on February 11, 1805 to a boy.

  Fran Masat
  Copyright © 2004 Fran Masat
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