The Homestead Act

THE HOMESTEAD ACT                              photo: "Patterson Pass" by Tim Goodman

Over the horizon

comes the blush of light and emptiness.

Sixteen schooners spit mud from their wheels

as opportunity releases the stitches

between land and sea.

It is morning.

It is to be born.

It is to shoulder the weight of your body.


With the precision of a machine

the Indians become the unconscious.

From St. Joe to South Pass is the belly.

We've entered it.

Riffraff and voyageurs

leaking from Europe

like spirits touching their toe to the dead.

Roll wheel.  March to the body.

Raise up the flag.

Patterson Pass Road
 © Eliot Schain