This article originally appeared in Vol.55, No.1 (2008) of Pioneer Magazine.
by Margery S. Stewart
The wagon wheels are high and white. They make a scarring in the snow.
The way that wheels do, coming hard Behind the oxen, dark and slow.
The wind, a winter Indian, stalks Past tattered canvas, tattered shawl. Crouched on the ridges, broods the night. Like taloned birds, the shadows fall.
Then from the farthest wagon back,
A grizzled man begins to sing The song is like him, strong and deep.
The music makes a rising ring,
A spreading splendor in the dark.
To which the others bend their brands. Someone else against the stark Oppression sing out sure and bold.
Others… and others… here and here… Until the notes are all held high,
Afire of music in the night.
Forgotten specters turn and fly.
Once more the wagons circle and stand.
The dark shrinks back to the edge of the land.