The highway, long and dusty,
Stretches off between vermilion crags,
In and around boulders, whose descents are halted
Only by sparse tufts of grass and hop clover.
New Mexico; Arizona.
The same roadside stands sell bits and pieces
To curious strangers.
Scattered like the bodies after Wounded Knee,
Their homes huddle together down behind the road.
Tired frames shelter the weary bodies
Of once proud Navajo, Hopi, and others.
Betrayed since the first gun
Was shot on their shores –
Blood seeping slowly into their earth.
Ancestors lying dead.
Cast offs of “progress,”
They are living casualties.
Once they rode horses here,
Below the rolling clouds –
Beyond the sweeping horizon.
Galloping so fast that sweat streaked their saddles
And the wind blew just to keep up with them.
They were noble and strong –
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.