Lynn Gilbert

Oregon Trail Diary

OCT. 10, 1843. This day
we veered off another way
from the main party

On from the Snake
toward Powder River &
the Blue Mts

Susan & Annabel
dear friends
most likely lost for life
through the men’s quarrel
as to the right route

No other woman left
to help cook
or ease me when….

Tuesday last
Jonathan then little Sarah
died of the bloody flux &
we buried them beneath the trail
deep as we had time for

safe from
we hope

Not an hour to spare
for grief
our utmost haste
too slow—
snow in the passes
smell of snow in the wind

Lynn Gilbert’s poems have appeared in The Banyan Review, Blue Unicorn, Concho River Review, Exquisite Corpse, Gnu, The Huron River Review, Kansas Quarterly, Light, Mezzo Cammin, Mortar, Peninsula Poets, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. An associate editor at Third Wednesday journal, she has been a finalist in the Gerald Cable Book Award (2021) and Off the Grid Press book contests. She lives in a suburb of Austin, Texas.