After Fighting for Hours, by Kate Gleason
When all else fails
we fall to making love,
our bodies like the pioneers
in rough covered wagons
whose oxen strained to cross the Rockies
until their hearts gave out trying,
those pioneers who had out-survived
fever, hunger, a run of broken luck,
those able-bodied men and women
who simply unlocked the animals
from their yokes, and taking
the hitches in their own hands, pulled
by the sheer desire of their bodies
their earthly goods over the divide.
From “The Best American Poetry 1997" edited by James Tate; David Lehman, series editor. (Scribner: 269 pp., $13) Copyright 1997 Reprinted by permission.