Child at Ba­toche, 2010

ANDRÉA LEDDING

Room Magazine - - NAGRA -

prairie light to sky to grass to ground & then the shadows cast

& they are ab­sence of light as the grave­mark­ers are ab­sence of life

& the hori­zon is a dis­tant blue the clouds must cover but they are al­ways stretched too thin or bunched up in the wrong places & the trees soak up the light & the trees hem the thin hori­zon & the trees march in frozen pro­ces­sion to­ward the grave­yard cast­ing round shadows on the mown grass & the gate is swung invit­ingly open to the grass the mead­ows the trees & the wire fence sags com­fort­ingly be­tween white­washed poles & in the cen­tre of a worn picket fence the grey tim­bered cross in­ter­sect­ing the medicine wheel made by a red river cart­wheel raised to the sky like a tar­get de­fy­ing death or maybe say­ing here is the tar­get where you shot me down my body in the cross-hairs of your ri­fle the puff of smoke as the Gen­eral gave the or­der to fire & next the shov­els swung by women to dig a hole big enough to bury so many bod­ies be­fore they had to flee with their fa­ther­less chil­dren

& in the fore­ground she stands arms open & says re­mem­ber me to­day but she has asked me now to for­get she was there & her feet trod the same paths of count­less oth­ers come to pay re­spects keep­ing the grass from grow­ing up­ward out of the ground & the ground grow­ing up­ward out of the graves the holes the places of burial & that is where the grass grows from it grows from a place of re­mem­ber­ing

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