The Oregon Trail is a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas Eve
From Independence it’s a shit ton of miles
to the Kansas River crossing.
Child #1, Christopher, has a broken leg.
Christopher is sad he has a broken leg.
He’s like Shit, my leg hurts something awful.
He’s like Shit shit shit.
We ford the river but the river’s too deep.
We ford the river & you’re like Why
the fuck are we fording the river?
The oxen can’t breathe. The oxen can’t
breathe under water. They’re chewing
their tongues off trying to breathe.
Wendy, child #2, her face is a waterfall.
Christopher is vomiting from a fever.
He’s vomiting all over Wendy’s grave.
On the seventh day God rested.
Christopher has died of dysentery.
Gregory Sherl’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, Columbia Poetry Review, NOÖ Journal, and PANK. He currently lives in Virginia and blogs at http://gregorysherl.blogspot.com/.