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Soul Stance River - 28

The Shoshone bargain their horses like apathetic bankers,
what we all have in common is constant starvation
and near death stumbles, several times this month our pack animals
have slipped and fallen on this treacherous route,
in the Bitterroot Passes there is virtually no game for food
and everyone is broken in some private way,
September snowfall is beginning to seize this rocky world
now the trail's knobs, broken timbers and deadfalls are even more sabotaging, 
all we have are weapons, tradegoods and clothing, and a whole lotta wet cold,
we're outta food provisions, and the whiskey has been gone since Fort Mandan,
sometimes the men catch small fish in the creeks and grab hold of grouse,
Sacagawea sulks no more than any of us when frustration and pain bite
she's real tough, and sexy in strain
she has been scrounging edible roots for us,
thank goodness she wanted to come with us to the edge of the world,
begrudgingly we kill and cook a colt, the meat is good and vital
but in so doing costs us so much,
11 days since the Bitterroot risk, marching 160 miles through this mountain crucible,
and finally an open, low flat pasture where game and efficiency can be gained,
we are not going to die in this stone necropolis, 
I feel a kinship to the Carthaginian General Hannibal
who succeeded 2, 000 years ago leading an army through the Roman Alps,
although we have no elephants,  but we do have a young Republic on our backs,

J.A.B.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 12/31/2015 2:50:00 AM
Another strong ending two lines.. you're amazing you know...:) Always, Laura
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Justin Bordner
Date: 1/6/2016 12:34:00 AM
As I was envisioning this treacherous, uncertain crossing parallels of dramatic, heroic history were emerging in my mind, and provided a glimpse that Lewis and Clark possessed a real sense of history, and emphasizes that this was not a personal or small enterprise, that these people were carrying the hopes and future of an entire nation, the stress and and honor of that responsibility must have been daunting yet motivating Laura...J.A.B.