at the itasca state park pre-historic indian burial mounds / Preeti Kaur Rajpal

I unbraid, then re-braid my hair, long till my hips. Grown for eternity, to speak to eternity. The earth risen with questions and white spruce. Brown and red lichen invade a rotting log laying like femur, the head of it once in the earth’s socket. I take a picture of a shrub leaf full of eggs. Expectation. Why did they leave them here?, I ask the leaf dancing in a breeze. The trees probably with mothered names but I don’t know enough about classifications of the world. A blue sign instructs not to disturb any bones that may be exposed. Except I see jutting of bones everywhere: newspapers and internet with unseen wars, bombs bursting in air, the way my parents’ bodies, workingworkingworking, sink deeper into earth, this waiting dirt sitting on me even though I will be cremated to ash. I wonder why the history of everything will leave me here, too, someday.

Preeti Kaur Rajpal is a poet who grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Her most recent poems can be found in Tupelo Quarterly, Spook Magazine, and Blueshift Journal. She can be found online at