On the Backs of American Bison

b:william bearhart

Some dreams come ill, a bad kidney or two

maybe three. But no crow mourns for lost feathers.

A magpie might. Black and white and able to recognize its own reflection.

Black-billed Narcissus. Vain bird that you are.

Sensitive corvid. My mother used to call me a magpie.

In her poems, I was left for days in a bundle,

when my parents returned, they learned I had flown away

to the back of a nearby bison. What’s more American?

Here, the food was plentiful until they killed all the bison.

I had to find a new home, build a nest in riparian woodland.

With the wolves sitting around me, I told them my life.

They regurgitated new stories for me to dream.

While they weren’t looking, I’d steal their food

I’m a sensitive corvid after all. We have to survive somehow.


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