I found my voice in the holster
I follow the echo into the river
No mystic venture strips the hull of holes
This heart is riven by hollow promises
Lost to me.
I moved my people across the desert
The torments of winter they bore
In their fingers, curling and shaken
Roots shearing underground witnesses
Lost in the sea.
The hunger is not literal but actual
my relatives lingering on the edge
Of camp, fearful of the shade by the tipi
Door. You hold my hand, snakes held
At bay by the fire in the pit, I know we
Will find our lost keys in the shallows.
Teeth rotting in my mouth and foot
Swelling too stinking a new anguish
With each rising sun. I tell the boy
An eclipse is come, and the rain will
Wash your sorrow away. Don’t look
Don’t look, she can no more hear you.
I thought she would not tarry by the dock
I got a stick to beat the drum. I made noise
in the foggy fields to frighten doom as he
Marched us down. The bodies are hidden
In the nets of fishers who line the banks
with torches and bang pots loud, hard.
Still they are coming, the witherin’ hated.
Nay fashioned a shield beyond reckon
No pendant or ward repels the advance
Ne surrender is offered & none will be given
We join arms, lower our heads keep eyes
Upon them, their line is crimson, then black
Benighted, the shuffling horde right upon
Our men, the clang of metal and flesh shorn
Asunder, we stood strong and solid boy
You wonder if I tell it fair and flush, and I do
Child, I do. The mass of them bled out into
The crick and soil and all cheer, n weep
Beneath the full wolf moon by the dismal
Niche. We ladled clean water and ate smoke
Fish by our bonfires, scratching prayers
Onto tin foil, reciting poems by the score.
The scattering survivors fled in pickups
Or by train. The choppers hunted stragglers
up ravines and by the Column. Seamstresses
Remained to record the history, but tis us
Who knows what happened, sure. You
Child. Our axes of bone and hair
On the wall yonder, amidst the trophies
Heirlooms, by God.
Woven in the tartan you don each mornin
Is a message you carry to kith and to kin,
A warnin to any who betray their clan folk
Instead to chase the bluster and gin. Gold
it shines and silver, emeralds and numbers
Paper and deeds. Some will not bow
Nor borrow, or sway like reeds. We plant
Seeds in the beds of dry dreamy waters
The shoots swell to the sky then rivets shall
Fall upon the enemy and strip them o all
Their grand displays, to give comeuppance
To end m for good to end m wi scant pleasure
Together sing them away for-e’er n a day a day