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Gold Fever

Pioneers, those men were named,
driven insane by the lust for wealth.
Standing, faces contorted with greed,
in clammy gold-ridden streams.

Heroes, you called them--
if you had seen under those humid, merciless skies
families trapped in their wagons by the need for riches,
you might not call them so.

Perhaps some were there for honest reasons,
though many were grasping money seekers,
sweating day by day in empty rivers,
failing to find their dream-- the yellow money dust.

Nuggets occasionally wormed their way
into a seeker's waiting purse,
but most returned empty handed
to their solitary home land,

The gold rush:
a pulsing, contagious fever
dragging its victims to sift in lonely rivers,
making them forget the important things in life.

Ailsa Dixon, 11