in Red Wing


The great apes crouching toward the east
to meet the light
Cautantowwit in flight
southwest, southwest (a raven-feast)

echo the caw-caw over Noah’s ark
(breadcrumbs for Elijah).
The future is for Jonah
or for Jeanne to bear (as oak

from acorn weathers Thunderer,
Earth-Shaker).  From these
enormous clay crocks
of Red Wing pottery (grain elevator,

stoneware casque) one Blue Morpho
or ochre-black Monarch
skims toward blind Psyche-
park (houseboat for mosey-Hobo) –

when Hero rises from the womb
of Nile or Mississippi
like Huck, like Jim (she
will be free!) across the loom

of frozen rim (Troezen or Petersburg).
In Red Wing, Frances Densmore
heard the drums pour
rhythm underneath the river – bug

slant like water spider’s perfect
pitch-black whispering
through tympanum – sing
beyond ice-frame (joy-dialect).


Frances Densmore exhibit, Goodhue County Historical Society Museum (Red Wing, MN)

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