Saturday, October 20, 2012

Facing Zion

This is a poem I recently wrote about my sixth great grandmother, Mary Murray Murdoch, also known as Wee Granny.  When she was seventy-four she left her home in Scotland to come to the Salt Lake Valley as a member of the Martin Handcart Company, but she didn't make it to Utah.  She died at Chimney Rock, Nebraska.  Her last words, spoken to her son-in-law, were "Tell John I died with my face toward Zion." (John was her son who had traveled to Salt Lake several years earlier). 

Her son a thousand miles away
She journeyed 'cross the open plains,
Moving ever towards Salt Lake,
Moving towards Zion.

Seventy-four years old was she,
Small and frail, and so, so weak,
But with a spirit so strong that she
Wouldn't give up 'til she reached Zion.

When one more step she could not take
To the dirty ground she sank.
From this sleep she would not wake.
Would she not reach Zion?

With her last words she did implore
The ones who'd brought her from the Scottish shore
To give her son a message from his mother:
“Tell John I died with my face towards Zion.”

A hundred and fifty years later I read
The story of her journey 'cross plains and seas,
How at Chimney Rock she rests in peace,
How ever she strove to reach Zion.

Her life and faith inspire me
To be the best that I can be.
And through my life this promise I’ll keep:
I’ll strive to live and die facing Zion.

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