Pierre Navarre, Area’s First White Settler, Studies Map of Grape Rd. Shopping District

Here, let me show you: here we stowed the boat.
We laid the birch bark of its bow to rest
On forest mulch and fox crap. G.P.S.?
I would have wept to know of it: I wrote

In knife strokes on the trunks of trees—an X,
An N. These marked my trails. This trail was old,
The marks all faded, like an uncreased fold.
We left the cottonwoods behind us. Next

To me a creature dressed in buckskin: Peter,
Oldest of my children. Neither quite
A man nor, in the strictest meaning, white,
He worked to match my white man’s stride, the meter

And the weight of it. We walked the trail
Until the trail gave out. We checked some traps.
We ate a meal of radishes. Perhaps
We did. We likely shot some birds. I fail

To recollect the purpose we were on,
Or much about the trip besides. I think
Of it today because we stopped to drink,
Is all, beneath an oak that now is gone

But stood right here, I’m certain, where the Best Buy
Is, the one you showed me on the sixth
Or seventh day of my return and fixed
In me that vision I am ever blessed by:

Twenty hawks in flight, yet only one.
Each bird exactly matching, stroke for stroke,
The wingbeats of its neighbor: and the oak
It landed on, the sky, the setting sun,

The faded letters spelling out the word
Discovery. I stared. I went and pressed
My nose against each screen in turn to test
If I could find a difference in this bird

Or that. Remember how you laughed at me?
But I laughed too, and now I’ll tell you why.
It was the day that Angelique and I
And half her band of Potawatomi

Set out for Kansas, as the terms of treaty
Said they must, and I hung back a ways
And stopped and turned to look, and let my gaze
Take in the valley’s breadth: My eyes were greedy,

As they say. Her people say. The eyes
Are greedy. They know there will never be
Another vision just like what they see.
But they were wrong. You showed them otherwise.

  • Latest Articles