Rosebud mission doors


Hunchback Richard & the Hunkpapas
were driven off the earth
in hails of lead; their leather
shirts splayed in the newspapers

like ragged flags of slander (flapped
by harrying wind into
nonentity).  The men who
cornered them were full of sap –

Miles, Sherman – clinking heroes
for a swell new nation;
never had a notion
of the Lakota they drowned in woe.

The Great Spirit will judge, muttered
Red Cloud.  Old Manitou
your deeds shall deal to you.
The Rosebud mission doors are shuttered

now.  Over Washington monuments
another cloud congeals,
rubidium-fierce.  Sky-seals
are torn – rage flows in torrents

through slick marble halls, bears down
skewed scales with partisan
self-servicing, crude
greed, the yap of infinite Mammon –

armored in barking thunder-tread
of heavy weaponry
(gunfire from Albany
to Bernardino – many children dead).


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