Poetry

By Sandra Petree


June 28, 1844

I was not there.
I did not see the wagon
With its silent burden
Climb the hill
And roll into the town.
I did not hear
The creaking of the wagon wheels,
The horses’ hooves.
I did not see
The tender brothers’ hands reach out
To lift the prophets from the wagon bed,
To bear the husbands through the door,
To lay the sons upon the table there.
I was not there.
I did not share
The anguish of the wives,
The mother’s tears.
More than a hundred thirty years
Have gone.
Zion grows.
Prophets lead. Life goes on.
My time is now,
I was not there.
And yet
I cannot quite forget.

The Silent Places

The silent places, soft and soundless: at
Pasture at dusk, cows grazing quietly;
Boys walking barefoot, laughing, shouting, top
A rise, are gone. The first ways we walk (puffs of
Dust follow our feet, whiff away on the
Wind, pass feeding cows unaware) become
Secret groves where Josephs go, where birds rest
And sing till Joseph comes, then rise and fly—
And heaven’s silence breaks.
The quiet places! A burbling brook
Slipping swiftly into pond silence;
Years sliding slowly through centuries’ swing.
We worship, kneel to face the rising sun,
Whisper;
The white-wisps rumble; the earth resounds—
A final restful “Hush!”
The world relaxes into
Eternities’ arms.