The Ballad of Standing Rock – Sarah Gillespie

The cold midwest winter morning made icicles of the tears Dorothy cried I told her ‘I’ll get this job so help me God I’ll come back to you my darling a certified engineer on at the Dakota Access Pipeline. I drove towards the Badlands of sand
and salt and clay chased by a creeping malady What will I do for money? What will I do for bread if the foreman picks another guy than me? I couldn’t drive through Standing Rock
cause of the National Guard road block dogs unleashed, screams hit the sky They shout ‘first you take my water and the language of my birth and now you want to rip the oil from the bosom of my earth woman fixed me Lord oh lordA with her pepper sprayed eyes bleeding white tears across her cheeks She said ‘you white men carve your maps
into the ground with blood! When will the damage that you’ve done to us ever be enough?’ I wondered low low lonely into the local casino bar I drank seventeen shots of whiskey for the guilt Dorothy won’t forgive me if I turn back now So I checked into my motel and passed out The snow fell on the Grand River Motel as the wind gathered speed I stepped to my window pane Through the hammering rain I saw the buffalo stampede How they rose like a majestic saviour from the wreck of the pyre where no bullet could slay them, no fur manufacturer could trade them and the dry, dead river burst open rushed in holy momentum The left handed twin was forgiven with the warriors grace he’d mistaken Mothers rose up with their young ones as the black hills beckoned and called them and I was still standing and watching as if in a dream I was watching. I pinched myself in disbelief I flowned open the window and I fell to my knees

Michael Martin

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