Joseph wrestled in Nauvoo’s dirt.
His scuffmarks yet remain.
The city remembers
The grove’s all-day meetings
(Joseph’s doctrines lighting through the trees);
The tithing-toil for the temple;
God’s whispers in the night …
The Saints are gone now, the grove empty,
The temple, fire-ravaged,
Whipped down by winds.
Winter deepened, the Saints escaped.
They are all gone now.
An unassuming evening breeze
Murmurs his name.
Hopes in the earth recall his firm tread.
The grove flourishes quietly; still,
His voice echoes on.
We hear cheers as the Legion rides by,
Rising dust into the air.
We hear singing, boys shouting.
In the distance, shots.
This place is not dead.