“For Emma,” Ensign, Sept. 1993, 56
The flux of her cumbersome skirt
corrugated in the grip of her children:
Joseph to one side,
Julia on the other.
Her arms midnight aching
from the weight of two more babes,
Frederick and Alexander hung in embrace.
Heavy bags of the Prophet’s papers
bound to her waist.
Her mind behind with him
shut in prison.
Home, cold-impacted Missouri,
left hollow by her flight
across the river’s frozen slate.
The careful tramp of her feet
scuffing the ice,
her name aching in my throat
every time it’s heard.