Once, a squirrel could travel from here
to the place the Kanienkehaka called
Beyond the Pines and never
touch the ground, not leave a track
for the People of the Flint to follow
like they stalked the white-tail deer.
From the River Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk
to Schau-naugh-ta-da the trace ran,
maybe where I follow the tracks each day.
I see where the geese have written
their cuneiform tales in the pond-side mud,
edited by the turtles’ tail-writ script.
I read the tracks of the students
on the running trail–the one
that runs for a time toward
that western place–like I’m one
with my Mohawk brothers,
trailing Englishmen from the Hudson’s shore
to where they’ll fell more and more pines
and tear down more of this
Are their heels weighing heavier
in the dirt than their toes? Walking.
How deep? Carrying books.
Are their toes dug in, tossing behind
a spray of the history of their passing? Running.
Narrow feet? Girl. Two feet side by side?
They stood to watch soccer practice.
Four feet, two narrow, two wide?
Perhaps a longer story than this moment.
Two squirrels cross my trail,
skittering into their place there
behind that lonely pine. I stopped
to parse their tiny prints, and
wonder about who will stop one day
to ponder all these jumbled tracks