Sunday, July 15, 2007

We Ride These Roads

A few years ago I made a motorcycle trip during which I followed the course of the Oregon and Mormon trails for a great deal of the trip, stopping at various historical points along the way and marveling at the courage and determination attempting such a trip must have taken then. This poem has it’s origins in that road trip.

We Ride These Roads

We ride these roads
With iron horses we ride
Where oxen trod the prairie
Where wooden wagons rolled by
We ride these roads

Peering from the saddle of my bike
I imagine I see them still
From the east they came,
To a new life, better they hoped,
Than the old.
I am riding their road.

We ride their roads,
Platte river road
Past Windlass Hill
Past Ash Hollow
Past Chimney Rock
Through Mitchell Pass
Through summer heat
We ride their roads.

Ft. Laramie, Register Cliff,
Independence Rock by the fourth of July
They left their marks
They wrote their names
The wagon ruts cut in the prairie sod
Still there to mark the passing.
On their roads we ride.

The forty-niners,
The Mormons
Oregon or Bust, some said
And then they busted.
By the thousands they came
Most walked, all the way to their dream,
Snakes, weather, Indians, disease, exhaustion
Many died
Along these roads we ride.

Martin’s Cove, South Pass
Immigrant Pass, Ft. Hall
The Great Salt Lake,
Three Island crossing
Following men like Young,
Hudspeth, Bridger, Goodale
Donner, more, who led them
Along these roads we ride.

I ride these roads
And to my left, to my right
Everywhere I look, I see
Those who came before
Those who made the roads I ride
Their ghosts are with us now
We never travel alone
As we ride these roads

Copyright 2007 Bill “uglicoyote”Davis

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