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Wagon Train

Updated on November 18, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

We left St. Louis yesterday across the plains to the West

Weathering many miles, dangers, and months before we rest

It’s a wagon train to California led by Captain Tom Jerome

All belongings in these wagons headin’ for our new home

It’s springtime in Missouri and the grass is growing green

Those wagon wheels cut fresh ruts as we head across the plain

We have to make the mountain pass before the snows of fall

If we do not arrive on schedule the winter will stop us all

Ben Bonner's got his wife and kids in the wagon up ahead

Their headin’ to California to break a new homestead

Sam Johnson and his brother are on the wagon to our back

Their off to mine the rivers and put some gold in their sack

My wagon has a bit more room with just me and my new wife

We’re off to California to start working on our new life

We’ll have a farm, some cattle and maybe a couple of kids

Then we’ll look back on this journey and smile at what we did

Some of the wagons are pulled by oxen, some by horse and mule

Just keep up with the train, don’t drop out, that’s the biggest rule

There’s danger out there on the plains, both outlaw and Indians

Of all that we will encounter not many will be our friends

At night we form a circle of the wagons, out here called a laager

It helps us pen our livestock and offers protection from the danger

We cook our food around the fires, share stories and tall tales

Then come the morn, we're off again in these schooners without sails

The storms dance the skies across these vast flat grassy plains

The winds blow down off the Rockies and brings in the rains

Still we march along plodding through the mud and gust

To get to California, we must travel from dawn to dusk

The wagons fan out to each side to get some relief from the dust

The rain comes in torrent sheets and the winds come in gust

Our faces are sunburned and our throats will dry and parch

But save the precious waters for the coming desert march

After weeks of steady traveling the mountains are in sight

We should be crossing them in a day and just another night

Once we get through the pass, our wagons head down to the sea

And all around will be California, a new land for Sara and me

Ol’ Hank Parker lost his wife to fever back on now a week

Shorty Tompkins drowned while trying to swim a little creek

Matt and Sally Walker have a new son born under this sky

We seen a lot of happy and some sad that makes you cry

The mountain road is narrow and these hills are mighty high

Some times I fear we will fall back down the side and die

We all have to work as teams to get these wagons along

Ain't no doing it without the help of Captain Tom Jerome

Struggling our teams and wagons right up to the crest

It looks like we’ll make it, everyone has done their best

We’re on that downhill run for the California land

We’re no longer green; we’ve become a pioneering band

Captain Jerome stops his horse and points there away

He’s point to the land we came for; we’ll make it there today

We’ve survived the long hard journey to see it with our eyes

At the end of this journey, a fertile farming valley lies

Settling into our new land, we’ll begin to build our new home

We’ve arrived at the end of the journey, no more need to roam

But when the sun sets and at and we think back of the plain

We’ll have those precious memories of life in the wagon train

© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Wayne Brown


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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @charfaris...Thank you so much. I have a number of other western poems here that I hope you will read and enjoy. WB

    • charfaris profile image

      charfaris 6 years ago

      Terrific poem... I love the show as well. Keep writing.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @JailTalk...You certainly may have my autograph...I think you are the first to ask! LOL! I never wrote any poetry prior to coming to HP. I made some friends here who did and finally tried my hand at it mostly tongue in cheek. Some of those poems are still among the bunch. I prided myself as a "lemonade stand poet" without much depth but I was determine that my message would be clear. Of the roughly 400 posts I have here, about half is now poetry ranging from historical subjects to odes of love. I have not been published although friends have submitted some of my work to publishers. I am yet undiscovered except maybe here on the HP. Browse through my stuff, I think you will find many others that you enjoy. Come see me again soon! WB

    • JAILTALK profile image

      JAILTALK 6 years ago from Oregon

      Awesome and Beautiful. Wow, can I have your autograph?!!! I figured you had horses and would have some good hubs, but I was surprised at your quality! Have you published some of your work?

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Micky Dee....sounds like another good episode of "Wagon Train"! Thanks Mick! WB

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Well the cows got sick,

      And the kids can't pull a wagon a lick.

      But My darling wife can pull all day,

      If we can just make love in some hay.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @dags the drover...Thanks for the visit and the comment. Yes, the west is still a big old scary world in a lot of ways. If one breaks down out there, it's still a long way to civilization. WB

      @billyaustindillon...Thanks Billy I appreciate the comments! WB

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Another great Western poem - you really bring out the old West in your Western poems Wayne. Great imagery and characters.

    • dags the drover profile image

      dags the drover 7 years ago from still lost in Western Australia

      Hi Wayne, great thoughts brought together in a very nicely told way. While our journey from the East to the West recently was done in much more comfort (light truck & 18ft caravan) the sense of leaving all that is known behind and and heading off into the unkown through unformilia territory is a feeling that still occurs today for folks who give it ago. Thanks for the journey. Dags the Drover

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @saddlerider1....Right on, Ken...These people had nothing to lose and everything to gain if they could survive. Thanks for the great comments! WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Yes sir those people who pioneered the West sure were hearty. To live on the trail and rough it out the way they did. Never knowing when they were going to half to fend off outlaws and restless attacking Indians sure kept them on guard.

      But all in all they knew they were in it together and worked and played I'm sure. Circling the wagons at night and singing, eating and laughing and sharing stories must have had it's good points as well.

      These were all spirited pioneers with a strong desire to make it to their destinations no matter how tough the journey was from time to time. Many made it, some didn't and they knew they might not. That didn't stop them from trying to reach their futures. I tip my hat to all those fine people who challenged the wild west with determination and grit. For without them, America wouldn't be what it is today.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Pamela99...It would have been a scary trek I am sure, especially if one had to cross the Rockies! Thanks for the read and your nice comments! WB

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Wayne, That picture of the wagon train really makes a statement of adventure and a new life. Your verses write that out so beautifully. I loved the poem.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @Tom know how it is Tom, if I give in and convince myself that I can do it that is when it will come to a halt. But, I'll take Zane Grey as a compliment and a big one too any day of the week. Thank you sir! WB

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      You're the Zane Grey of verse. Two thumbs up!!!!!!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      @ralwus...have a drink on me but no water! LOL Hey, Laura told me today that she was overdue to harass you a bit! WB I found one of your former lives, huh Poppy. That old wagon seat could probably get mighty hard going across that prairie! WB

      @ahorseback...You probably married a wise woman! LOL WB

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 7 years ago

      Hey Wayne , I keep trying to get my wife to do a wagon train rip , no deal.....

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      When I saw that picture of the covered wagon I was sure that in a former life I rode in one and settled the west. Oh my, I think it's time to head for the Inn. Great poem as always.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      I'm mighty thirsty now. And I need a woman.