Cherokee by Kevin Heaton

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We were like deer,

they were like grizzly.

We had small country.


They changed the mountains,

and made the rivers to run backward:

spoke good words that did not last long,

and sat in pews to quarrel about god.


Why do bad men dwell in good houses?


Now, loose rocks have covered us. My spirit

flees into the smoke of my dead father, dancing

in the next life. We rise together above the land—

over water.


His horses suit me.


AUTHOR BIO: Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton was born in Kansas, and now lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in 150 publications, including: Raleigh Review, Foundling Review, The Honey Land Review, and elimae. His fourth chapbook, Chronicles, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in early 2012. He is a Best of the Net 2011 nominee.