Sitting Bull's gone,
his era receding
like the last bus stop
in the neighborhood we once lived in
still forced look backward,
our seats never facing
where it is we are going.
The grand designs
have slowly crumbled,
like the Grand Central Stations --
rows once breathlessly boarding trains
now abandoned for mute rows
of still-boarded windows
bricks, like social grandeur, crumbling,
manifest destiny's rails rust,
spraypaint - urban ivy,
the silent testimonial
of our anonymous self-assessment.
Does the shattered brick dust
of the Berlin Wall
hold the ashes of Auschwitz
in obscuring embrace
and beg its forgiveness
saying "now I've avenged you"?,
while Bosnia, new-resurrected next door
plants new-found skulls
for its second new century,
some still lying obscured in the
shadow of the Great Wall
that falls on Tiennaman Square
in the shape of a tank-tread?
The Trail of Tears is a freeway now,
its fading souvenir-stands sway
with their harvest of beads.
Will we replay forever
our dreams and nightmares
in snowblind pixels of HDTV and VHS/C
that chill us to narrated awareness,
numbing the stabs of our second sin
committed over and over again?
Which of our DNA will turn evidence,
and in which of our peers
will we find the eyes of the jury?
© Jonathan Bohrn (2000)