Winter 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 1 Poetry |

On the Oregon Trail

   Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound,    Skill'd in the ogle of a roguish eye,    Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;    None through their cold disdain are doom'd to die,    As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery.                —Childe Harold's Pilgrimage                George Gordon Lord Byron And after literature and lunch came archery, a sport deemed suitable for young ladies at a small college on the Oregon Trail. We could have been all corsets and crinolines instead of miniskirts. We took position, letting the bow arm hang down as though holding a small suitcase. Yesterday we'd seen the wagon ruts, the grassy remains of the mission where the tribes had been given proper clothes, new names, and fevers. In a dainty diorama a stiff figure sat on a chair brought over the pass along with a wife— our founder, Dr. Marcus Whitman, counting his conv

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DEBORA GREGER’s most recent book of poetry is Western Art, published by Penguin in fall 2004.

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Snake Bird

By Debora Greger

   Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound,    Skill'd in the ogle of a roguish eye,    Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;    None through their cold disdain are doom'd […]

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