Ancestor by Jim Boring

The face in the frill of her bonnet
belies the femininity of her cap.
Her eyes look straight at you assessing -
her mouth a crack in the ice.

There is nothing soft in this woman now
who bathed her babes in the Ohio River
and salved the head of her daughter
scalped but alive among the corpses.

Gone now for almost a hundred and seventy years
she still looks down on us in stem appraisal
frightens our children when they are left with her alone -
she whose face grew hard protecting her own children
when they found their father his mouth stuffed with dirt
with the others of Mad Anthony Wayne's contingent -
Here is the land you are so greedy for - the message said.

2007 Jim Boring

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