the Plains way

“I am safe in calling this a single herd,
but it is impossible to approximate the
millions that composed it. It took me
six days on horseback to ride through it.”
	—George Anderson in an 1871 letter

Over the sod,
They trod, they trod.
Over the sod, they trod.

Huge buffalo herds
By the hundreds of thousands,
Over the sod, they trod.

Vast buffalo herds
Of a million or more,
Over the sod, they trod.

Hard buffalo hooves—
How many millions?—
Wearing away the sod.

Hard buffalo hooves
Wearing a way
Over the sod they trod.

Poem title from chapter 29 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

To see a buffalo herd like that–how amazing would that be? And now for the last of my poems for Monty Vern’s Silver Lining June collaboration, in which the last words of each line are the key words, in order, of the given quote. Peace to our s!

[“The day is done, and the darkness / Falls from the wings of Night, / As a feather is wafted downward / From an eagle in his flight“ from “The Day is Done” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Something New Under the Sun

~after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Again a demoralizing day:
Dearheart, will you never be done
Fraternizing with darkness,
Letting stumbles lapse into falls,
“Forgetting” you have wings—
A goose in the noose of Night?

Dearheart, dust off your feathers!
The next time temptation wafts
Your way, enticing you downward,
Soar up swiftly, like the eagle.
Again and again—take flight!


  1. lifelessons says:

    Ha. I memorized that poem in the sixth or seventh grade and remember every word of it to this day. I’ve never seen anyone else mention it.

  2. lifelessons says:

    You did well with these words.

    1. I enjoy the challenge. I consider the list of words and see which ones jump out at me that I can build a theme around. Monty Vern does a great job selecting the quotes.

      1. lifelessons says:

        I do the same thing with word prompts.

      2. You do a really good job with them too.

  3. murisopsis says:

    Stephanie, this is outstanding! I love the way this unfolds into hope and a urging toward freedom!!

    1. Thank you, Muri! Glad you like it. :)

  4. Monty Vern says:

    You really made the most of the silver lining. Love your words. Thanks again for participating!

    1. You’re welcome, Monty. Thank you for hosting the challenge. :)

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