By Donna Penley
Th’ wagon train left St. Joseph, headed for th’ “promised land”;
On a cool, crisp day in April, led by a stalwart man.
They dreamed of fertile loam where their crops would grow so tall;
They thought with luck an’ perseverance, they ‘d arrive in early fall.
April melted into May -- Ol’ Sol was hotter now;
Women under bonnets wiped their furrowed brow.
They went down out of Missou into Kansas territory;
A lack of water left it’s mark. Added misery to their story.
By June they were out of th’ Flint Hills and onto th’ Kansas plains;
Not a tree t’ mark th’ boundaries, an’ th’ heat did not refrain.
July was an inferno, a frontiersman’s idea of hell;
Dust, no water an’ no shade. Some of their animals fell.
They spied th’ foothills of Colorado as th’ August sun burned down;
They smelled worse than their animals -- dreamed of torrents rainin’ down!
It was harder goin’ now, as they spied th’ snowy peaks;
Then dreams of snow an’ waterfalls did quicken their tired feet.
Broken axles, broken bones as higher now they climbed;
At last they crossed th’ Great Divide, th’ prairie left behind.
A woman on th’ train vowed she would go no more;
Th’ wagon master pleaded with ‘er, knew what winter held in store.
Her eyes were tired, but fierce -- they showed she meant her fervent vow;
So th’ pioneers helped build a shanty for them, with room fer a horse an’ cow.
Then one early monin’ in th’ Rockies, th’ train pulled out again;
Waved goodbye to th’ doughty pair, hopin’ they would win.
What happened to that couple? Well, only they might tell --
Two people who true and bravely traversed th’ bowels of Hell.
Now, as this Nation struggles under threat of war an’ strife,
We, like those first pioneers, hope for a better life!
We, like they, won’t have it easy keeping’ our nation free;
Old Glory must be held on high by folks like you an’ me.
Donna Penley is a Cowgirl Poet with deep Kansas roots who has been writing cowboy poetry for over twenty five years. She is a real Cowgirl and an ex-barrel racer.
Donna on wheel of fortune game show