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Reflection Poem By Mark Turcotte

Reflection Poem By Mark Turcotte

Back when I used to be Indian
I am twenty-six maybe twenty-seven
years old, exhausted, walking the creek
that bends through the hills
down into the clattering mesquite.
Along the muddy bank
I search for any sign
of my family. Footprints, feathers,
blood. A smoldering campfire
sours in my nose. Mojados.
Yellow pencil shavings curl
in the warm ash. Poetas.
A circle of Sun floats
and spreads upon the water.

I step in.

Murky bottom rises,
over my boots, swirls,
and swallows up the light.

As I kneel to speak,
a long, black bird bursts,
from my throat.

Mark Turcotte
first published in Poetry, vol. CLXXVI, no. 2, May 2000
also from Exploding Chippewas

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