All the ground belong to our brothers the English . . . to build a fort or to plant corn or any other use the white people may have for the lands — We wants no matter of goods or any other pay for the Lands it is already your own, We are nothing of our selves, and were you to forsake us . . . we should be both lost and naked —

— Black Dog to George Pawley in A part of A Jurnell of my Agency to the Charokees 1746


White clover saturates unmowed lawns in June.
Blue mountains collect a cool silver shroud
over this quiet cove as I bike downstream

where my neighbor, half his colon removed,
pushes a wheeled rotary blade over his
territory, snarling gasoline engine

proclaiming his domain. If he stalls
we hear nothing but the sigh of a stream,
idle opinions of birds, a squirrel hot

as a high-school boy on my porch screen.
It starts again, the drone of one idea.
I turn on television, fighting fire

with fire, to learn about Tarzan.
Who knows why earth is so easy
on us, how we have survived

this long. In 1746, two hundred
years before Nagasaki and Hiroshima,
some Indians had already given up. I

am Scotch-Irish, the curled lip
and cutting edge of the last wave
of the twentieth century, breaking

into white foam. All people are good
people, and I am the voice of my mother.
We are the song of the earth. In the cool

of evening I hear my neighbor commanding
his grandson to come back here and get away
from that, coughing and falling deeply silent,

a good man from Louisiana, of which
there are many. Here we are together,
invaders from east and west. The land

is already ours. Furthermore, paper says
$75 million for more better highways
or else tourists will stop coming.