Little Pioneers


Now I trudge, knee-deep through golden sea waves.

The endless blue above looms big, bright, and round.

I ache.

Days blend together,

one indistinguishable from another.

Tears-not of sweat

or pain of limb

but grief-

trail through dusty cheeks.

They drop one by one.

Why?

The small, innocent presences

no longer linger by the wagon's wheels,

or mother's coarse, sack skirt.

I remember their small hands,

each little kiss,

and wave good-bye.

The sound of laughter,

gone.

One by one,

they succumbed to winter's snare,

or summer's smothering.

Even through perfume of prairie flower,

the bitter taste of bile chokes me.

Only after death could I possibly find solace.

But no,

perhaps not even then.

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