Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PIPESTONE, MINNESOTA, by MARION VAN LANINGHAM



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PIPESTONE, MINNESOTA, by            
First Line: I saw your red rock, pipestone
Last Line: Slopes of the prairies.
Subject(s): Minnesota


I saw your red rock, Pipestone,
Symbol of peace, sturdy and elemental,
Hewn from the sleeping strata
And fashioned into neat little blocks
To make the cornerstones, the foundations,
And the structure of your neat little city.

I saw huge fragments, Pipestone,
Great chunks grown old and pockmarked,
Eroded like Indian chiefs, too proud to ask a favor,
The last, the lost from the scattered tribes of the nations,
Too crude to be divided, too rugged to set in a pattern,
Squatting, discarded, in a desert of silence.
Scarred by the frost wedge, facing the blizzards,
Staring blindly into the sun . . .

I mused, Pipestone,
On the red of the shattered scalp,
The fierce vermillion of warrior paint,
The white pallor of pioneer lips
And the gray brains of a child scattered on a boulder near a hillside . . .
I thought the deep thoughts of the red race,
A sturdy race, lying deep in the sod,
Knowing only the deep peace of the quiet earth
Where the belching smokes of coal fires
Pour the peace fumes over the heaving
Slopes of the prairies.





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