She walks above the bones
of Squakeag and Pocumtuck,
through meadows replete
with arrowheads, pestles
and shards of implements. The sky
is corduroy, opaque. The stubble in the fields,
ocher and dry. The crows cease their scavenging
to scold, “Sylence, go home.”
Home. Where memories stalk, as men
stalk crows with bounties on their head. Memories
of fathers and uncles at war with Indians
and a cousin, a captive returned from Canada,
his head pierced by a tomahawk and forever afraid
to fork the winter hay in the darkened barn alone. Memories of her aunts who birthed in too distant homes and tore too wide, who were lowered into graves beside their children
drained by dysentery or strangled by diphtheria.
How easily we scavenge our minds
to glean aboriginal memories
of dread and threat.
Margot W. Fleck
for more of Margot’s work check: www.margotwfleck.com Also: I will soon be printing a collection of thirteen of her Sylence poems.