|Members of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers meet at the Castle Dale Senior Center for their annual Christmas Social.|
The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers held their annual Christmas Social at the Castle Dale Senior Center on Dec. 3. President Janice Spencer welcomed everyone and then introduced Irene Mead. Mead has written a poem and entered into the writing contest held each year by the DUP. She was the runner-up for the poetry division.
Mead read her poem, The Ultimate Sacrifice.
In the wee small hours of an unending stormy night
A small figure trudged faithfully upward with all his might,
His slender body bent - a younger brother he did pack,
Shoeless frozen feet, unable to walk, riding piggyback.
A sleepless night on the cold, hard ground before the day began,
And only sagebrush tea for breakfast - not a morsel in the pan.
He chewed on a small piece of rawhide hoping strength would come,
While the bitter wind cut through him 'til his whole body felt numb.
He often experienced light headedness - as if he were "half there"
From the burning in his chest as he breathed the frigid air,
And the frozen snow cut into his skin, as it whirled around his face,
His eyes so cold he could hardly see, but he continued on the race.
The brothers had chatted together off and on throughout the day.
They talked of the green hills in Scotland where they often went to play.
They wondered about their new home, so different than where they'd been,
And pondered if they would ever see the beauty of Scotland again.
Eventually James became silent, he had no strength to reply.
He forced himself to keep climbing, knowing he had to try.
Upward and onward he forged - when he stumbled and fell he would rest.
Then he cradled his brother in his arms and continued his endless quest.
The unforgiving, relentless ridge appeared to him to grow
As he staggered over the steep incline covered with rocks and snow.
The lad slipped from his frozen fingers - James had lost his grip.
Little Joseph whimpered as James gently secured him upon his hip.
"I downa go much longer," he thought, "we must soon be into camp."
"The morn is nigh upon us." His body twisted and began to cramp.
Again he switched his brother to his back, and said a prayer,
That God would grant the strength he needed to get them safely there.
At once his load seemed lighter than it had ever felt before
He thought that someone steadied him - his climb was less a chore.
He glanced around to see who might be helping with the lad.
What he saw was a familiar figure dawning their Scottish plaid.
"Daddy! How be it ye are here?" James thought within his mind.
They had buried him in Scotland near the home they left behind.
"I've been sent to help you, son. The camp is just ahead.
"I see the campfire - you're almost there," his father calmly said.
Up the ridge and over the top, young James with his brother went.
He carefully placed the little lad down near a fire next to a tent.
He collapsed by his side and thought to himself that tomorrow he'd be OK.
"No my son. You are going with me. Come, we'll be on our way."
The program, Homespun Christmas, followed Mead's reading of her poem. It was directed by chairmen Cynthia Grant and Zora Peacock. Luncheon followed.