My Canadian Grandpa

In cold, frigid Saskatchewan, in the winter of 1922,
Young Ot Moore squinted through the snowy blast:
   The cabin beyond was empty.
   "This is the time," thought he.
   "The neighbors are away and their crops didn't fail."
Ot loaded his rifle -- just in case --
Through the howling wind, he broke through the door
    grabbed what he could carry:
       flour, hardtack, coffee
    -- and ran ...

In cold, frigid Saskatchewan, that winter
Young Susie, her daughters and son huddled by the coal stove:
   The wind howled like a mournful spirit:
   "What are we doing here?" thought she.
   "Hungry and cold and surrounded by wolves, Indians, and trappers!"
Susie knew the neighbors next door.
   "They'll going back to Indiana this spring.
   "I'll go with them."

Then, Ot burst into the cabin and threw his treasures on the table,
"Here. Here is food enough to get through the winter!
"The next planting will work!"

"No. No. I'm going back -- back home.
   "You can come. You can stay."

Ot looked at his treasures --
   Ill gotten on the road too often travelled.
Its time to go home.

©1999, John A. Mills
published in hidden roots; Penhaligon; 2000