Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chief Leschi of the Nisqually By Duane Niatum

He awoke this morning from a strange dream-
Thunderbirds wept for him in the blizzard.
Holding him in their circle, Nisqually women
Turn to the river, dance to its song.
.
He burned in the forest like a red cedar,
His arms directing blue flames toward
the white men claiming the camas valley
4 their pigs and fowl
Musing over wolf tracks vanishing in snow,
The memory of his spouse and children
keeps him mute. Glimering in the dawn fires,
His faith grows roots, tricks the soldiers
like a fawn, resting black as the river...