The sky’s so vast here in the Midwest
Stretching like a giant rainbow reaching
Side to side across the earth.
Some days I wonder if I climb up high
Could I just see my home from here?
But there are no tall trees in the prairie,
The highest thing a dormitory.
On rainy days droplets hang like tiny mirrors,
And if they’re angled right, might
I find glimpses of forgotten faces,
Crowded lanes and streets? Which way is east?
I journeyed here across the rainbow’s edge,
Resting multiple times in multiple places
Between yesterday and the day before,
Leaving in those liminal spaces
Bits of me like scattered breadcrumb trails
To stumble back before day races
On and fatal birds of prey pluck away
From the earth my traces…
So here I am a hybrid mess of cultural droppings,
A patchwork dolled up clown of no renown,
Masquerading in a cap and gown,
Playing the fool and fooling none
With borrowed accents from a colonial boss
To cover up a sense of loss
At abandoning a diverse land
Of ancient gods and spicy food
For capitalism’s ugly hand,
How could it come to any good?
So who am I? I ask with pain,
Bewildered by the way I’m seen,
A muddy brown-skinned splat of stain
Across the snowy landscape clean.
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried,
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
In nineteen hundred and eighty-five
I came across the ocean wide,
A dotted Indian not a feathered one,
But no-one cared, the land was won!