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Monday, July 06, 2020


by Jeremy Nathan Marks

The Lakota people  consider the Black Hills to be sacred ground; it was originally included in the Great Sioux Reservation. The United States broke up the territory after gold was discovered in the Black Hills. The mountain into which the Rushmore figures wer carved is known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers. Photo: Six Grandfathers circa 1905. Source: Wikipedia.

On the eve of the fourth
in Lincoln’s shadow
on sacred ground
of the Lakota and Cheyenne
downwind of the dust
of an unfinished bust
of Crazy Horse
not one of his kin asked for
a sitting president defending
the Stars and Bars
its politicians, generals and adjutants
to extolling chants of


What do you say to a drop in
from a fortified copter flying
the Great White Father
over crowds of people whose lands
these stone monstrosities smother
carvings made at the hand of a man
who sympathized with the Klan
a troupe of Confederate brethren
keeping alive the dream of Calhoun
interposition, the antebellum masculine
to thwart a more perfect union?

Carve the face of the great emancipator
beside slaveholders and Teddy R.

I think the fourth is in danger of becoming
a mausoleum because we do not vet
the monument builders
history stalks the land like the undead
in a high ratings show many of us watch
on television.

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in London, Ontario. Recent work is appearing at Isacoustic, So It Goes, Muddy River, Wilderness House Literary Review, and The Right Life.