Bridge to Pike Island

While wandering in forest glen
along the river shore,
I found a lonely concrete bridge,
I hadn’t seen before.

It bridged the Mississippi flats
that led to misty isle.
Beyond it was a weathered plaque,
that’s been there for a while.

It stated Pike had landed here
the year, 1805.
He bought some land from local chiefs,
where now Twin Cities thrive.

So Minneapolis, St. Paul,
had infancy begun,
on Lou’sianna Purchase trip,
once led by Zebulon.

The Island is a park preserve,
the furthest north Pike got.
Along this Mississippi route
is plaque, so not forgot.

Now Pike moved on to greater fame,
as what he’s known for best,
is finding Colorado peak
when he went further west.


Author Notes:

Pike’s Island is an island located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, just below the cliffs that hold Fort Snelling. The area is now a part of Fort Snelling State Park. It is very close to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. In fact, the planes land and take off right over it. But not many people know that the land, that later became part of both cities, was actually purchased by Zebulon Pike from the Dakota Indian leaders, while on his famous trip to explore the Louisianna Purchase territory, just after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Starting at St. Loius, he traveled up the Mississippi River as far as St. Anthony Falls, then camped on this island. This was as far north up the river he traveled. After this, the team went back down the river and up the Missouri River. Pikes Peak in Colorado is named after him.

This poem is written in abcb rhymed quatrains with an 8-6 meter. This format is typically called the ballad format.

These photographs were taken by the author himself on May 1, 2016.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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