Missouri River Crossing
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“Missouri River Crossing,” New Era, Sept. 2001, 24

Missouri River Crossing

The fathers fell, weeping,

and mothers turned stone-cold faces

to the wind,

too weary to cry.

As I watched those broken people

I heard my mother say,

Go and bring them in.

Would she turn away if I returned

with empty arms?

Gently, then, I gathered up a child

and waded into waters

so cold and sharp

that my muscles clenched

and tears froze on my face

each time I crossed

the aching, icy river.

Hour after hour,

numbly plodding on, I saw my mother

in each stranger’s face.

And when they were all across

they wrapped me in my mother’s quilt

and sang the quiet songs

of heaven, and so cold and numb—

I slept.

And dreamed that I awoke

in Mother’s arms

and angels seemed to shout Hosanna!

And Father wept to have me

home again.