To The West

For my maternal Grandmother Clifton Holley’s
Grandmother Granny Donnell who opened the
Oklahoma Territory in a covered wagon after
coming here from Londonderry Ireland. A staunch
Protestant, she dropped the “O'” from her name
so not to be thought Irish Catholic.

“To the West was freedom, he told me,
To the West was food.
To the West the Church didn’t tie you
to an order so cruel.

“To the West was the Ocean,
then a land past the sea.
To the West past the land
was the prairie where he
meant to take me,” said she.

“To the West was a funeral.
We buried him at sea.
But to the West we continued
my daughters and me.
To the West to Missouri
for work and supplies
then with the others we pulled
close to the line.

“To the West
the mules pulled us in our
wagon so fine.  To the West
was the land that was free.
“Before the starter shot,
we’d pull sooner
So SOONERs we’d be.

“To the West of the world,
with the past in our eyes
we’d wrench a new paradise
with our work and our minds.

Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * February 2011


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