Saturday, February 25, 2012


image borrowed from bing


from his pedestal outside Nordstrom
he does not sing The colors of the wind
as his daughter does in the movie by Disney
but collects them from pigeons
in white, purple and green

like tributes once paid by his nation,
thirty tribes brought together, only to be laid low
by settlers, invaders, it all depends on
who holds the pen

only children stop to stare at Chief Powhatan
and stumble over his given name,
which rolls like marbles, foreign on the tongue

one, her dress a spring day
gathering around her legs, shiny black flats
on her feet, maybe her Easter adornment just
bought at one of the high end shops, asks

"Mommy, who was this man?"

and i want to say, "he was once a man
who was willing to fight for his people
and his land, whose daughter was stolen,
who watched brothers & friends
desiccated by disease dry up like river beds,
slain by pale hands as they defended their freedom
and family, displaced & lost in history
to the romanticized legend
of John Smith (not Rolfe) & Pocahontas so that we
could build---

shopping malls
to fill the void of consumption
once there were no more
great conquests"

but her mom sums it up in,
"an indian"

& they are off to another anchor store,
as i down the last bite of soft pretzel,
and nod not to the monument
but he who was willing
to stand behind it.

Brian Miller

Posted over on his site Way Station One

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