Kathryn Peterson

The Gniess
The gneiss stands record
to many things
glacial time
the Great Lakes
the tears that fill them
I place my hand upon this rock
and see
Johnny, (eyes as big as pie-plates)
“Are you an Indian?”
as if Geronimo was standing over his bed
a runaway at sixteen
fighting in the Aleutian Islands at eighteen
dying dreaming of Indians
sorrow isn’t exclusive
testify the lakes
logging industries paid the Finns
company store vouchers
cemeteries house the last of the miners
today eagles pinwheel
over a pile of fish guts
from last nights spearing
fire smolders in the east
the rock remains
and I am comforted.