Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Morning Reading: "My lips let my teeth pledge allegiance again"

Passing Rez School the Day before Thanksgiving Day, Unoriginal Sin and a Redskin Pilgrim’s Retrogression
by Ralph Salisbury

Footpath passing a school,

undiscovered by a nun
black at her blackboard’s explanation
of Vanishing Americans’ vanishing, I find myself

flagged, by two not quite red rows,
unfurled into grin, two white, and by one
five-pointed, pale star.

My lips let my teeth pledge allegiance,
again, my fingers orbiting their own warmth,
around this pen,
as straight as Old Glory’s tall pole, but
admittedly, ingloriously smaller, and,

as the star descends, it draws,
from Christian calendars’ precision constellations,
a child—hand cramped
from fisting fact onto dusty black
clutching a wand,
to draw him Everywhere.

Though the teacher scowls
us back to my dead, risen from
The Trail of Tears

as chalk,
this day before Thanksgiving Day; a child
will lead, as I finish taking my walk.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I heard him read when I was at the U of O. Kind man is my memory.

the other L

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