Allison Hedge Coke

The Mounds

From Blood Run. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2006.

Rising from earth-black, rich-fresh soil
lifted, hauled for multitudes in woven baskets
piled one on top of another, again, again, laid down
upon overlaying ground base, allowing drainage, for long-term care,
until we appear as small, circular, sloping hills to untrained eyes beholding.

Here, the earth is sanctified, sacrament caressed.
Created by cultural duty, by love for The People.
Prepared to preserve proper burial of loved, cherished.
Of those who lived in honor, in respect for Mother Earth, they
rose from, returned to remain encased in our earthly wombs sheltered.

Lain precise in accordance: constellation rise, cyclic phenomena, lunar cycle,
solar event: in the manner of being positioned relevant to all that was–will be.
Measured by line, multidimensional, geometrical design, envisioned, embraced, made form
from rope lines calculating paths, fiery loved ones guiding us here in this world from far beyond.

Reproduced with the permission of Allison Hedge Coke: poet, writer, filmmaker, founding director of the Literary Sandhill Crane Retreat & Lit CraneFest.