American Requiem

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The ancient ones

slayed their enemies

under the open sky

with no self-deceit;

subsistence is the only cause

of a just war.

Legend holds

they released the spirit of the

dead through dance and

primordial song;

one more day

to live

was marked with

scalps and totems,

a remembrance of

the elemental struggle

for breath and love

and moons and legacy.

We tilled them under

the Great Plains,

west of the Mississippi.

We have yet to set

our shame before us

when listening to

drums echo over waters.

We have yet to set

our naked feet

on that sacred ground

in measure with

a slow and bitter dirge

for these, our

first fallen warriors.

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