On Heroism & The Oregon Trail

by Kit Frick

We like to think we are secret beauties. To think we are big ships. We like to think we are
noticed, in secret, by some keen eye, and it is enough. It is never enough.

Remember the Oregon Trail? How our Conestoga wagon made it through cholera, through
the South Pass, through snakebite and starvation until winter outmatched us? We were not
the winning team. Never enough.

We like to think we are small town heroes, but what small town would claim us? We are the
heroes of this poem only. This poem will not draw back the curtain to reveal an ordinary
man at the helm or our true beauty. This poem will not bestow upon us prize money or a
new life out west. At its end, we will say good morning to our failure. We will say, indeed we died, but how the west was fun!

Promise us this: don’t forget us. Oh, please don’t turn this page. That would be the wrong
kind of ending. That would sincerely break us.

Kit Frick studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University, where she served as poetry editor for Salt Hill. Her poems have recently or will soon appear in DIAGRAM, Conduit, CutBank, Sixth Finch, and Forklift, Ohio, and have been featured on Verse Daily. Kit is the Chapbook Editor for Black Lawrence Press, where she edits the newsletter Sapling. Kit lives in Brooklyn with her husband and lives online at www.kitfrick.com.