Native

Native, a poem.

Walking past headstones at Wounded Knee,

I am tourist for the day.

 

Watching names rise from the parched earth,

planted back in the sorrowful season—

No Ears, Yellowbird, Her Many Horses . . .

 

Death grows well in the little cemetery on the hill,

where prairie grass struggles to breathe,

and trees never do achieve a graceful height.

 

An Indian stops by with an offering.

The wind sifts and carries the dust of his ancient song to the dead,

through granite and ground, back to bone.

 

His song resonates, sticks in my Adam’s rib,

catches hold of my breath.

 

And I stand, head bowed in Sunday reverence,

waiting for the benediction.

 

A moment later we turn to go—

him to his Chevy,

me to my compact—

 

Each to his own America.

6 Responses

  1. Oh Amy! That poem is marvelous! It quite took my breath away. I was affected the same way on the battlefield at Gettysburg a few years ago.

    An Indian stops by with an offering.
    The wind sifts and carries the dust of his ancient song to the dead,
    through granite and ground, back to bone.

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter N

    • Oh dear… I can tell I’m going to be thinking about this one for awhile. I have a poetry journal wherein I collect poems written by friends. It’s called Poems from Middle-Earth and Vicinity. I always ask before I copy poetry into it, and I would love to add your poem. Let me know if it’s ok?

      • amy@amyharkemoore.com

        I’d be honored! 🙂 I have to tell you, Calen, that the best part of this challenge for me has been our exchanges here and on your site. 🙂 Definitely want to keep in contact when this is over.

    • Oh!!! And do you mind if I reblog it on my site? I have a Poet’s Corner feature I do on my blog now and then. I would love to spotlight you and your poem…

      • amy@amyharkemoore.com

        Sure. I’d be happy to be featured. 🙂

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Oh, I know! I felt that way about Gettysburg, too.