Exponent II Classics: Morning at Mountain Meadow

Exponent II, Vol. XVI, No. 1 1991

Morning at Mountain Meadow
by Anita Tanner, Salt Lake City, Utah

Take me to Mountain Meadow;
I want to watch the sun
Explode over the horizon like a shotgun —
Surely it will shine exquisite morning
On a thousand questions,
Illuminating the warwhoops of red men,
Washing palefaces, already ashen,
With reason.

I want to stand in the open plain.
Let morning reconcile the pain
And terror of fleeing children,
Let it scorch-down,
Bleaching the red dirt brown
At the scene of massacre
Where a scapegoat was brought,
Propped and dutifully shot
Two decades following.
Maybe morning there will help me see
How that resolved the tragedy
Of inexplicable horror.

Let morning bring her new-day magic
To this place
Of interminable night, erase
The hush of evil, awake
And warm this century-frozen hell —
Maybe sunrise can erupt dawn upon the shame
That hangs on the air
Like thick fleas in coyotes’ hair,
Host howling pitch-darkness.


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