Did You Walk to Oklahoma?

After Edgar Heap of Birds, “Ocmulgee” (2005)

You came        You came         from
You came from your homes Your family         Your
rivers      creeks                                                       came
with you in your blood           in your songs
the hawks        flew         inside the wings of your          voice
your voice        walked like a            deer             across the
land     your land         was a      voice walking                deep
in your blood’s wings                   to the place    awaiting
its own birth          what is born is also made                 and what
is made is earned               built                  like history
a house                    mound              hall anything we walk into
a state             perhaps          a state of being            a state still
mired in its own making     making the dead        the dead
a trail                a walk of  bones            a song of singing skin
that lives through its dying               who has not lived with your death?
Who has not lived?               You                     in the dust of your hundred
deaths               your thousandsyour deaths are the constitution
of this country              this country                  this        state
of the union                               we say to your deaths that they are ours
they are hours               days                 years                 only now lived into
a legacy            we are learning now   to live into your legacy learning
what has a state learned?        What has a death driven us to?
Let us pray to your walking    Let us walk backward to your prayers
If you are a song let us sing you        Let the dead live
                into the state               of our making