Gabriel’s Last Military Manoeuvre
Nights are still cool
But day by day the land is greening. Songbirds have returned, somehow strange they still sing. I am travelling south, mostly under the stars. I will arrive in Montana by tomorrow. I have made all my farewells. Riel, in the glade, one last conversation. Leaving Madeleine behind with our daughter: will I see them again? My brother, nephews, soldiers: we are all wanted men. On the horizon, the bluing of the Cypress Hills. Beneath my horse’s hooves, homeland. Maybe for the last time. In other years, it would be time to start ploughing. This spring, not the crop we’d thought to plant: bodies of our men, seeded with bullets.
Every night my last thought as I offer tobacco to the Great Mystery: I am a General without an army