Legless — A Poem

This poem has been gestating for a while and finally reached a point where I can share it. It bears on a theme in Red Clay, Blood River, but is rooted in a particular image from our own locale.

I am not sure whether its local context still bears a wider message, but here it is.

     he stands,
     bronze torso
     stubbed in stone,
     before the white man’s preaching hall.
Eyes gazing north,
     he feels yet the icy breath
     of wisdom lost.
Legs in irons,
     he was forced to Oklahoma,
     bound by broken promises.
Legs unbroken brought him back
     to pointless honor
     in the hills he loved.
Legs now lost in concrete mute of memory,
     wander with the spirits,
     looking for their Junaluska,
     looking for the man
     to walk him home again.