Daily Archives: August 22, 2019

Two poems by Elizabeth Robin

I am not a silent poet

At Wounded Knee

i lie on my back, reading south dakota clouds
like the child i was. but i can’t summon fluffy
cartoon whales and elephants and teddy bears

here, i see jagged daggers in the sky
bayonets skewering babies, cannonballs

flying into chiefs and warriors just disarmed
at mothers and children scrambling into the gully
surrounded by hundreds of soldiers, firing at will

banish these images and trace the outline of a buffalo’s
fleecy hump, immense horned head bent, fleeing

until it dissolves into a husk of silver dollars
and rotting meat, legacy of a people who take
what pays ……..,,,….and take …………..and take

until it disappears. a treaty, when inconvenient
conjures the escape clause to justify the slaughter

and a trail of tearmakers who won’t believe
in dreamcatchers ……………………or ghost shirts

they just look at clouds
………………….and wonder how to turn a profit

at…

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