Originally I composed this sonnet with the early pioneers in mind. In fact, the first two lines come directly from a story about a Mormon pioneer who claimed the difficulties of their journey were worth it because they came to know God in the process. Today, however, as I'm thinking about a friend undergoing an extreme trial, it seemed very contemporary.
He tethered us with mercy in the dark
by Gideon Burton
In our extremities, however, we
became acquainted with our God. In mud,
in winter's coldest anger, in the sea
of prairie winds, in sweat and tears and blood.
He tethered us with mercy in the dark.
His grace survived, a blanket in the night,
and though we walked unshielded in the stark
and rocky wilderness, consumed with fright,
our feet and hands grown numb within their rags
our children, mothers, sinking into graves--
yet sunlight breaking through the mountain crags
conveyed his promises in warming waves.
Though faint, we heard his voice, we felt his hand;
and as we did, we found his promised land.
Feel free to copy, imitate, remix, or redistribute this poem as long as you give proper acknowledgment of authorship. Photo: flickr - MarkKelley