like a walnut brain


Wide lonesome chord of milk-train horn
across an Osage plain.
Lilac & star, American
crowd... shy bird calling the not-yet-born.

The microcosm of a Maximus
is like a walnut
brained by teeth.  That
worn brown face, in Omaha bus

lounge, spoke quietly.  “I am Dakota.
I’m a man.”  The poem
lifts a sign toward home,
that’s all.  The sum of Ariadne-

maze, malevolent eye of Minotaur
is in the skin-swirl
of your fingerprint.  Roll
back into the vault then, sailor –

shed each blow of monster violence
until you find the mild
eye of the typhoon-child –
immaculate origin of Providence.

I see her hero stepping through the gate
of stone, one hand held out
on a wave of love.  Light
scout, scouring the root of hate –

defanging that lamprey of predatory
malice, hostile cruelty –
injustice clamped on history.
With Coke & Blackstone whispers : Now be free.


India Point, Providence

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