Downtown Sunday Morning

by Walt Kosty



this is where

the wind comes

to a place

where there are no longer plains

to bolster the pioneer spirit

the land grabbers heart

the displaced tribes

the broken words


and it is not for us

to resume the count

of what has fallen

been discarded

hidden or replaced

the birds are busy with this


cataloging our transgressions

from the trees and the wires

where they seem only to sing

to one another or no one at all

marking our progress

from era to error

they pass along

from voice to voice

in a language of tradition

that we listen to

with half interest

recording the ways

of who we once were


the stories we told ourselves

about how rabbit steals fire

with tar and aplomb

how crazy snake dances naked

under a starless sky

throws his fits into the well

howls at an invisible moon

brands his broken heart

with a small cross

searing the flesh of his ways

with the new god

of the same light

he always saw


Originally published in This Land: Summer 2015.