Sliding in at the last minute again with an assignment poem written for tonight’s St. Lawrence Area Poets (SLAP) meeting. The topical assignment for the month: write about cold.
Trail of Tears
The snow, fine and thick as smoke,
taken sideways by a cutting wind,
fills in the tracks weary feet made
on the journey into exile.
Soon it will be as if they never were,
as those who walked the Trail of Tears
have vanished, except in schoolbooks.
So many, taken by the cold.
Hunched and ragged, with nothing
in common but misery and need,
they stand together without speaking
where footsteps make an end.
They too have been ejected from homes,
separated from their livelihoods,
forced away from warmth and light
into the white limbo of winter.
Faces numb and pale in the wind,
all gooseflesh where thin jackets gape,
fumble-fingered and leaden-footed,
they smoke behind the dumpster.
Dale Hobson, 1/10/12