Sonnet: Mni Wiconi

Red-capped, barely out of childhood,
peacocked young men prance and bray, tails out,
strutting, dancing in colonial courtship,
they play at Cowboys and Indians, emboldened with righteous mood
and Godly cause. Brotherhood and bravery, they cut
through respect, puff up the fledgling flock with smirking lip –
supremacy and scripture do proclaim “The land whereon thou liest,
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.”

Water-protector is not moved, drums on, sings his medicine song,
although adrenaline pricks the edge of bone and splayed
muscles of pain; this Mall, this land is a meeting place:
The waters of Anacostia remember the traders with beaver tails long
and fat, here the Nacotchtank, the Conoy, the Piscataway,
they are the people where the rivers blend.

Try two for the Sonnet Challenge at D’verse Poets Pub

12 thoughts on “Sonnet: Mni Wiconi

  1. Very nicely done. Loved the peacocked young men with pants half down challenging the protector of the water.

    Seems I saw this story on the evening News just yesterday, where young boys challenged the Native American playing his drum!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The truth comes through in these lines, juxtaposed in opposition to all of the flamboyant cruelty preceding:

    The waters of Anacostia remember the traders with beaver tails long
    and fat, here the Nacotchtank, the Conoy, the Piscataway,
    they are the people where the rivers blend.

    Beautiful resolution to the tension, a strong and rooted affirmation. I did not see the mentioned news story, but I go the sense of young jerks or colonizers, having no respect for wisdom and place – the consequences of which bleed painfully through our melted culture still.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Nora!
    I’m sure it’s just that I’m in my seventh decade and not a techie but I simply cannot find a way to comment on your “shed” poem…I’ve searched and searched so instead, am placing my comment here. Perhaps you can copy and paste this into a comment section on your “shed” prompt poem? Apologies for my ineptness. I can post the comment here because I saw “2 Comments” and therefore know where to put my reply.

    I really liked your post to the prompt. What a lovely way to use an old baptismal dress….packed away in a cedar chest for generations. My cousin had a baptismal dress that had been in her family for generations and she’d followed the tradition, packing it away after she found it in her mother’s belongings, to save for her grandchildren. When the time came, the dress had aged beyond repair. She took it to a seamstress friend and had handkerchiefs made….and a small handkerchief bonnet (which was worn at the baptism)….and some doll clothes too. I liken this to the old quilts we treasure, handmade and comprised of old pieces of cloth from clothes our grandparents must have worn….rather than new bolts of material bought at a store precisely to make quilts.
    So glad you posted to the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lillian! This happened on an earlier post – somehow commenting got turned off. I’ll go check the settings.

      We did this in my family with a baptism dress that had seen a few generations – it was reworked into period clothing for three heirloom dolls that went to the three granddaughters.


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