For the Hopi

I dreamed it was the last day of niman kachina.
I dreamed it was July 16, 1945
and the priests were in their kivas.
The walls of the kivas were shaking,
feathered altars were surrounded by bright lights,
pottery danced in the air.
I saw painted racers cowering at the foot of the mesas,
sacred tablets shattering beneath dried cornstalks,
fetuses twisting in their wombs.
I saw a spruce tree thrown to the ground,
a sandstone figure with a missing right arm,
white men with binoculars.
I heard talk of destruction,
talk of useless desert and Trinity site,
talk of a missing brother,
an Anglo-Saxon mystic,
a first ritual of power.
I heard talk of ceremonies with wine and brandy,
of a small people with dark eyes,
of a sacred land without water.
I awoke on a bed of corn
with rain on my cheeks.

Copyright 2004 Anson Wright,
from Sandstone Monastery