Thursday, May 21, 2009

Poem Interlude (Draft)

Not Forgetting Cedar, White, Little Missouri, Milk, Raccoon, and Middle

You’ve learned to give
when the giving comes
back. The rivers showed
how the giving comes
back, the glaciers to
the river to your eyes,
your eyes to the trees,
trees’ breath to the sky,
the sky to the rain to
the river, and the rivers,
their waters changing as
their names, showed
how the need for home
is eternal in a way that
home does not need
to be, how home has
flowed through the
Mississippi but also
the Iowa, through
Big Sioux, James,
Missouri, it’s fed
orchards along
Columbia and brush
on the Snake’s
liquid twist, it’s
called down the
clouds from Malad
to Wind to Powder,
and knows Cheyenne
as well as North Platte,
and loves Yellowstone,
Marias, Bighorn,
Niobara, and Skunk
as much as the taste
of the iron in its own
homeless veins. You’ve
learned to give when
the giving comes back,
and you’ve finally
found that even the
East flows in every
direction, inward
too, as in the park
a bagpiper’s mournful
triumph unwraps dusk.

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