Prairie Poetry   
  Becoming Pioneers

With the furnace out
And snow in the forecast,
My parents huddle around the wood stove
And journey into 1897.

The surrounding houses dissolve,
Leaving a thin horizon of white plains.

Wind lurks around the timber,
Drawn by the lantern light,
Howls echoing into the ravines.

Like a gray horse gaunt with starvation,
The bare oak branch nuzzles the window pane,
Begging for sustenance.

How did pioneers stay engaged
On such a night?

Could the same collection of stories
Suffice to stem the tide of loneliness?

Could imagination surge yet again
To create a new even if wholly fabricated tale?

Perhaps contrary to history,
The pioneer’s fortitude was not fully tested
By flood, famine, and deprivation.

Only by such a dark night of the soul,
Glancing into the countenance of a spouse
Who has fitted the last puzzle piece
And now stares into your face,
Daring you to be interesting.

  Thomas D. Reynolds
  Copyright © 2007 Thomas D. Reynolds
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