It was a life of exile under the trees.
My father came to the stockyards.
My mother from a farm.
In 1952 or 2 my parents flew from Kansas City to Indianapolis
to look for a house when my father was transferred.
I think of them far above me
small as birds when they flew,
and the earth to them was a sandbox in our backyard
where I made roads to a house I never found.
I often think of wives in tract houses.
The cows and pigs my father yarded
before they walked up the ramp to the kill.
Sometimes I thought we were together
because of something terrible we had done.
My father's Cherokee heritage tucked under
some sort of shame. The past _______
What was it? I call to them above me
no larger than a leaf.