1619/White | Sojourners

1619/White

A poem. 

1. I knew, but didn’t know—extent, sprawl,
continent-wide bird with great shadow-wings
hovering over a whole nation’s knife-opened birth—
talons and curved-hook raptor’s beak coming
for my heart, which is history,
which shields itself and hungers
as though truth were a flock of season-following geese
from whom I choose how many to bag,
how many a season requires. So many
moments sound like gun-shot—
sound cracking the ear with its own hammer,
pummeling some dark priest-hole in every mind,
fists on doors, slammed hatches on ships,
iron coming down so hard on a deck it loses its clang,
a skull punched against echoing wood, snapped branches,
snap of a jaw-trap around leg bone.
An eagle cannot feed its young its young.

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