In the Wheat ~ Songs in Your Presence
                 12


45

How unencumbered we were
when we came to You.
Like blank tablets,
like unchiseled stones,
not even knowing
what kings were,
were it not for books,
and we had but one sun
and it ran its course
up over
our measured span
of Indiana trees.


46

They grounded us
in the French traditions,
talked quietly
and tended to us like plants
but never stopped to think
how different our soil was.



47

For we were the children
of unschooled Shawnees,
Potawatamis and Miamis
who once walked on those plains
with a piety and respect
that still seeped from the fields
to infect us.


48


We hardly knew
what to do
with all the freedom
You gave us
and would sometimes
climb over walls
and into nature,
kept at a distance
to our dismay,
for fear
it might afford us
some corresponding
abundance.
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