Big DipperFollow the drinking gourd
         they said.
Follow the drinking gourd.

The Chinese chariot,
or Mayan parrot,
To the Pawnee, a man on a stretcher.
The bowl is a bear
who keeps a keen stare
On the stars of the handle, the hunters.

The dipping cup
which says to us
"There is the Northern Star"
a thousand years away
will point anyway
Though Polaris will be just a star.

Follow the drinking gourd
         they said.
Follow the drinking gourd.

A million heads
looked up and pled
"Bring me to freedom up north."
A million tears shed,
their feet all bled
As the drinking gourd kept them on course.

Follow the drinking gourd
         they said.
Follow the drinking gourd.

Copyright © 2005, Jennifer Schimmrich

Image Credit: Jim Kost, some rights reserved

Jennifer Schimmrich is the wife of Steven Schimmrich, Earth Sciences professor at Ulster County Community College, and the full-time mother of Lucas and Emily. She studied creative writing and poetry in college. She lives in the Hudson Valley in New York, and welcomes e-mail at jen@cnonline.net.