Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brewer prompt: "Until..."

For good or ill, I got this poem going by searching random Wikipedia pages for the word "until" and scribbling phrases that appealed to me. I can't vouch for its historical or linguistic accuracy (NB: Wikipedia); I'd surely check before publishing it. (It's a second draft anyway.)

Until the Words Are Gone

As they fled, slowly,
the Powhatan Nation left footprints on our maps:
Appomattox, Pamonkey, Chickahominy. Laughing
at their rude music even as we use
the names we borrowed, we slip on moccasins,
chase raccoons and opossums, cheer
the Maryland Terrapins, place a persimmon on the hickory table.
Scholars call the language dead.
Here in Tidewater country, we walk on dead words,
but their ghosts rise, trailing rich scents,
even as we write our white papers.
(Chickahominy: grain cracked by grinding.)

1 comment:

Karen said...

It's easier to comment here than on Poetic Asides! Love your consistent use of colorful language, Pam. Nice work today on an intriguing topic.