The fairies played among Queen Anne ’s lace,
flirty, flippant, flitting, and flying
beneath the white garters, each red face
buoyant with winds, happily sighing.
My, the laughter was so very loud
within the petticoats of flowers —
an orgy amidst that floral crowd
while they quivered, shameless, at all hours.
Such perfume and musk glutted the nose,
all fairies being fragrant creatures
amongst hills and vales, the highs and lows,
and the untamed wildflower features.
Then fox rain fell from bright Summer skies
and gushed over the hot countryside;
Queen Anne opened her delighted eyes,
for she found herself quite satisfied.
Circling and circling, rope in our teeth,
knife in hand gleaming, seeking a sheath;
tethered, as we once were in the womb —
soon buried together in a tomb.
Come! Speak a petty jibe, begetting
a messy fight, a ripe bloodletting
as easy as a sharp blade that cuts
and spills a man ’s whiskey-rotted guts;
rope in mouth, see the resentful lip
and we unsheathe blindly from the hip
to 86 the opposing side
as two worlds careen, contend, collide.
Scalp them, skin them, flay, debone, and burn
rather than let them have their fair turn!
The battleground is stained, yet does hope
demand we grit our teeth on the rope
while we circle, bleeding at a glance,
lunging and plunging to stake our stance.
Lives that came and went in a flash
like the radiance of a lightning crash,
a downpour plummets, weeping heavy
as if the rain-man danced upon the levee
to break the floodgates and to flow
the world ’s memory of wrongs and woe
trees tossing in mournful despair
as gusts bellow with raging air,
thunderbirds flapped resounding wings
and screeched of many unjust things,
aloft, high, sundering the skies,
blinding unwary, shameless eyes,
smashing low the tallest towers,
fulgurous with heaven ’s powers,
a twister spun across the plains,
a reckoning of deathly pains.
After all these forgetful years,
rains still fall from the Trail of Tears.