Prairie Poetry   
  Sun Dance

Just the two of us at sunrise,
bent backs beneath the hot sky
pulling weeds in run off ditches.
Our hands raw and sore
from grasping the stubborn stalks
of tall grass and thistle,
we bleed a little with every pull.

We turn with the wind
watch loose seeds escape
borne away to unknown ends,
while we succumb to the heat, drift off
in daydreams, our bodies moving on unattended,
two machines in slow motion
redeeming the land from its last fall.
We sweat salt rivers till we are clean again
almost brothers despite blood and skin,

despite arbitrary questions of race
the earth marks our hands and arms the same way,
enters our veins through new scars
the sun paints us brown and gold
buries us in its last blood
before sinking beneath the weight of night.

  Neil Aitken
  Copyright © 2004 Neil Aitken
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