by Zara Zabin, in Improvement Era, July 1938
Dreary day by dreary day.
Jouncing, jolting, mile on mile.
Erect she sat in her dusty gray.
Fixed and stiff as her weary smile.
She and her husband, this firm man,
Eager and restless, fired with zeal.
Joined a westward caravan.
Stirred by the song of a creaking wheel.
Long he had labored in shop and at forge
Fashioning felloe and axle with care,
The need to be gone his daily scourge;
To knit and sew, her womanly share.
They traveled light—it was their all—
Tennyson’s poems, a Bible, a few
Patchwork quilts and a Paisley shawl.
Copper kettle, and gown of blue;
Youth and strength and a will to work;
Deeply rooted, a trust in God,
Trust to be tried in the mud and murk.
Clinging fast to the Iron Rod.
Day after day in the heat and the dust,
Never a murmur or secret sigh.
Fording a stream or facing a gust
Of sifting sand as the wind whirled by.
Night after night in a bed on the ground,
Weary body, too tired to rest;
Sickness and death with its lonely mound,
Hunger and thirst marked their way to the West.
Thus was her wedding journey made
Over desolate steep and plainland drear;
Little new bride all unafraid.
Partner indeed for a Pioneer!