Pioneer Granny

Pioneer Granny was fragile and old

And crippled with gout in the winter's cold,

But her tongue was unsharpened by pain: She would say,

"I'm waiting for April to come my way.

When a bluebird tips his hat to me

And calls 'Hello!' I'll be out! You'll see!"

While waiting for April--no sighs or regrets--

She wove us a lei of her word-violets.

Here stories brought stars to our wondering eyes--

Dear Granny, so near to her loved Paradise!

She came to this valley when she was a bride,

Crossing the plains with her John by her side.

She lived in a dugout but never was poor

With Sweet Williams blossoming by her door.

She helped build their cabin on sage-burdened loam

Then lovingly fashioned the spirit of home

Where patience intoned every word that she said;

Where she rested at night on a prayer-sweet bed.

She dreamed of a church and a school on the hill,

A store and broad roads ... toiled with neighbors until

The dream was fulfilled. (When she traveled by car--

No snow-plodding oxen--her dreams touched a star.)

She welcomed her babies, eleven she bore.

Reminiscing, she told us, "That was before

We boasted a doctor in this untamed land,

But I managed somehow by holding God's hand

And that of my John"--Her eyes lit with tears

Recalling the joy of those pioneer years.

Again she was feeling John's tender embrace

With all Heaven mirrored in each baby face.

"Divorce was unknown in our pioneer world

For wives were contented with wee fingers curled

Tight-clinging to theirs. The work of their hands--

Love's toil--left no time for dissolving the bands

Of marriage and home." She smiled at us then,

"Forgive me for preaching."--Eyes twinkled

... "Amen!"

Granny churned butter, made cheese, soap and lye,

Spun yarn and wove cloth; said, "My dears, if you try,

You can do likewise. I'll teach you someday."

But Pioneer Granny too soon went away.

She was waiting for April: Again with her cane

She would hobble outside forgetting her pain;

Like a brave little crocus or flashing blue wing,

Adorn with her brightness the portrait of spring.

She was waiting for April: She smiled at those near

Then closed her eyes saying, "I'll rest till I hear

A bluebird in Heaven call from the skies,

'Come, little Granny! It's April! Arise!' "

So Pioneer Granny went Home to her rest,

But her spirit is here in the valley she blessed.