This sonnet is a remix of Gideon Burton's "We Will Cross the River" and the "Autobiography of Carolina Eliza Nickerson Hubbard Grover" (see note below).
My Grandmother's Crossing
by Kathy Cowley
I’ll be strong enough to cross the river,
the February river, dark with ice;
to take hard gifts provided by the Giver,
the gifts of hunger, want, and sacrifice.
Now was the time of trial: as we crossed
the oxen tromped the helm, the ice did part.
While freezing in the water all seemed lost;
my daughter pled, “Lord save my little heart.”
We all were saved, through mercies of our God
Yet trials, death and hardship did not cease
I know this work is true, His name I laud,
And pray each day my faith will not decrease.
Years later, I fear sacrifice, fear loss
Yet grandma knew His hand and voice, and cross.
Caroline Elisa Nickerson is one of my direct ancestors, a grandmother (seven generations back) who decided to follow Joseph Smith through her baptism in 1833. In her personal history, both Caroline's testimony and her suffering are clear. She writes, "Now this was a time to know whether Mormonism was true, each for ourselves, for many were the hardships and much suffering was the common lot of the Saints." --Kathy Cowley