Paha Sapa (in the time of Corona)

I drove out a gravel road on the cusp of society past a lumber yard and the deep rutted ruins of a drive-by deer decapitation and I parked in the dirt parking lot of a pole barn and looked to the east
Where the air curdled and spun above murky swamp areas the snow melt
The Badlands
Rising into the low hanging snow clouds threatening apocalypse on apocalypse
The lone blackbird on the telephone line
Eyeing for an apology

To the west where the cellular towers hover spewing 5G over my house built on the unstable back slope of a limestone cliff a landfill a landslide waiting to happen built on the backs of the people whose bones lie buried in these sacred soils
Souls in soil in soul in oil and
Would you love me in a landslide

Hold your fingertips to mine as mud filled our screams and memories flooded our minds as life slid into a backyard as helicopters hovered over the emergency room just a block away and

To the north where racism whispers louder than is polite because our town is divided and conquered because we thought we would take what we could when we could and now we wonder why others squander what we so easily attained
The bully on the playground never eats
All his taken lunches
Spends all his milk money
Flies over oceans to visit prehistoric or renaissance lands and understand the smallness of self in the shadow of Paha Sapa

To the South where the rest of the nation lies waiting for a warming sun to eradicate a virus that starts in the hearts and souls of a nation of a city of a state that has bowed to riches
Stoked fires of deceit

Answered calls of battle
And offered platitudes in the fall out
Surprised by the body count

Looking to
The east in hopes that low hanging snow clouds offer some type of ancient purity

Looking to the sky in hopes of salvation
To the dirt beneath my tires beneath my bare feet to ground what we know in the truth of Unci Maka
To ourselves as our own best and worst plan
To our past as a guidebook
To our future with ambition
To the east where no one answers when we call across prairie send carrier pigeons with pleas written in the blood of the bodies we turned away
Souls and souls
Soil and oil
For fear of ever knowing the depths
Of the disease
The sweep of the virus
The length of the quarantine
The personal responsibility
The bruises on bent knees as prayers become gasps and gasps become death rattles and the world remembers what it means to hope for spring