By Tricia Knoll
They will be back where the snow falls
on camp tents, cookfires and legends
of stars so cold you know they froze
in the middle of a myth of creation
where someone blue lifted up the egg
and old women sang the birth song.
They will be back when snow is so deep
painted horses frost over, their eyelids closed
on the shoulder of a neighbor. When wan sun
cresting over the hill turns pony hoof prints
into iced omegas and they move so slow, nosing
winter grass, that you might not see them move.
They will be back saying the freezing
blizzard is why they hack open the belly
of the earth, mow down mountain ridges,
loose the black snake on the iced river,
and that valley fog that smells of smoke?
It warms the babies, they say when really,
it’s the masks they must wear.
They will be back to promote a white-out
of words that deletes drought, wild land fires,
and whirlwinds clogging the record books,
pages they throw like coal on a bonfire
of lies, ashy remains of picture books
they read to their grandchildren,
that illustrated scorched earth series.
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet who has done a great deal of resisting over a long period of time. She is deeply concerned about what will happen soon to the people protecting the water at the DAPL pipeline site. Visit her website.
Reading recommendation: The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, 1959.