The Agonist Journal

The Native Blood Within You
      (For Max, Poverty Point, Louisiana)

You stand upon a structure where—erected
One thousand years before the birth of Christ,
And not so distant as you had expected—
No criminal nor lamb was sacrificed.

Undoubtedly, these fossil-whisperers,
The paleologists who excavate,
Have caused the stream of Native blood to stir
Within you, realizing that these great

Star-gazers, architects, and engineers
Were your progenitors. You understand
This wonder of the Western Hemisphere’s—
Unparalleled in this, or any, land.

Allowing clouds to travel, you dismiss
The scalded sky, to focus on this mound,
This prize of your archaic kindred, this
Vast legacy, both open and profound.

A residue of spirit will survive
For guardians who honor the remains,
However primitive, their each archive
Impressive as the triumph on these plains.

Below the crest, I watch your logic wander,
Attuned to lunar shifts and your Creator.
A mystery exists for you to ponder,
With prehistoric bee and alligator.