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12/8/10

"White Buffalo" (as published in the 2010 Magee Park Poets Anthology

White Buffalo

Cirrus clouds gather
like a gentle herd of white buffalo
pasturing on the Great Plains of night sky,
mourning the time they lorded
over the great American Southwest.

They accumulate with their backs to,
and their heads turned down from, us.
They graze, affably,
on the cool, grainy, indigo grass.
In the veiled glint of their eyes
the countenances of expelled
Native Americans:

1830 Indian Removal Act
From Cherokees to Seminoles
forced from Florida to Oklahoma
on a trail of tears.

The infirm and the weak
fell away dead
to lose all meaning
in their dispersal,
like pages unbound
from a despised book.

Sunrise chars indigo into azure.
A new day resumes in Vista,
ancient land of the Payomkowishum.
And I stir after communion
with the four winds.