Poetry

By Susan McCloud


The Mormon Mother

I. Nauvoo
She stood upon the ice-imprisoned bank,
And clasping stiff, numbed hands she let her eye
Strain over the frigid river and seek out
The stately form of russet brick—her home,
Its windows shining in the dimming rays;
Remembered all held dear within those walls;
Took one deep breath, then forced her eyes away,
To seek in pride the lofty temple spire,
Celestial-white against the darkened sky,
Erect in bold defiance of the world.
Embracing all the sight within her mind,
Kept vivid there, she turned, with lifted head,
To start her journey down the waiting trail.
II. The Trek
Beside the frozen grave, so roughly dug,
She stood, and let the tears come to her eyes,
And did not stop them when they wet her cheeks,
A moment only. She could bear no more.
Forever passed until she turned away.
And then, with nimble, knowing hands she worked,
With toughened, mud-caked feet walked resolute,
With stiffened lips she spoke, with trained ears heard,
And saw within her heart the lonely grave,
Another hurt; yet she denied it not,
But kept it as companion to the pain.
III. The Valley
On humble knees she lifted thankful eyes,
Then rested them on emptiness and space,
On rugged crags and burning mountain sage—
The barren valley far below. But faith
Within her own breast surged with strength anew,
Transformed the desert to a blossoming rose—
To homes, to fruitful fields, schools, streams, and roads,
A temple—all rose up before her eyes.
Within her heart this precious vision grew
And overshadowed those already there,
Granting a brightness to their pain-dulled hues,
And lent her winged feet as she descended
The last long mountain, to the valley home.