Somewhere in the Borderlands

By: Hunter Christian


A gray coyote surveys;
the Colorado Plateau
Frigid nights yield to warmer days
A borderland between the ranchers of The Land of Enchantment,
and the Navajo Nation,
that spans the four corners,
of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado

The coyote traverses through both unabated,
where western civilization and its notion of Manifest Destiny,
contrasts strikingly to the Navajo way-of-life

The scarcity of water,
has led to myriad strife
The uranium mines,
that poisoned the scarce water reserves,
in the name of capitalism and the profit motive

A proud peoples who strive to preserve,
its proud culture,
to pass down proudly to their young,
much to the chagrin of the capitalist vulture,
forced to settle on the far flung,
desert lands of the American southwest

Promises of autonomy made by a government usurper,
lest its autonomy clashes with business interests,
Tread harshly did the boots of the interloper,
upon the Navajo Nation,
hidden behind the mask of Uncle Sam,
to elicit,
Americanism, patriotism, nationalism and the like,
rendered codified treatises implicit,
prompting a young Navajo man to protest by way of a hunger strike

The hallucinations enveloped the young man quickly,
as hunger pangs pushed acid upwards from his empty stomach to his burning throat

A kindred spirit comes calling to share the protester's fire,
the flames wane as the coyote lies upon the desert floor to warm his gray coat

Christian dissenters castigate the Navajo man with vitriolic words of hellfire;
His brethren rally,
A few empathetic Americans join the protest,
within the Navajo Nation's Monument Valley,
as police and National Guardsmen fall upon the crowd to arrest

Ill-guided patriotic rhetoric spews into the crisp desert air,
toward the protests the overzealous Americans vehemently detest,
like a gaunt coyote rising up against the ferocity of a grizzly bear,
rendering the contest,
unwinnable, and wholly unfair

A desert fire crackling,
sending embers into the desert air,
as the coyote is bested by his formidable foe

Cultures’ push-pull factors,
and the consummate ebb and flow,
amongst the peoples who sojourn,
with light steps upon ancient lands

The fire falls victim to the cold night, relinquishing its flames that burned,
that warmed, that gave warmth,
as the protesters disperse, the troops adjourn

The coyote lies down upon the desert floor and dies,
as does the young Navajo man

A bald eagle shrieks as it soars into a starry sky,
as frigid air falls hard upon the desert sand

Truth-be-told, all fairness be damned

Navajo tears fall upon hallowed ground,
as myriad faithful Native American folks,
while carrying heavy hearts, bury within the cold reddish-brown land;
awash in pale moonlight, while upon ornately carved pipes, elders smoke,
the coyote, in a shared grave, with the young Navajo man

Torrential rainfalls begin to fall,
breaking through earthen dams,
acutely aware ears register the mystic calls,
of the mighty bald eagle,
a majestic symbol of freedom,
ever soaring, ever beautiful, ever regal.









  • LaurašŸŒ»

    A History that no one should ever forget. Awesome write to remind us of the atrocities committed in the name of freedom!

  • josh_hayeslip

    This is very capturing, even with the length I was drawn in, amazing piece!

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