Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Poems: "Chasing The Sun Across The Hi-Line" - by Joseph R. McGeshick

The sun’s seasonal cycle southward
Started months before my small journey west

Back to the very minute after the longest day
The day that ended here in this treasure state

Working its same sunny wandering path
Along the changing horizon of giant steel elevators

Gray towers of grain from the Golden Triangle
From the Hutterites and undersized family farms

Slowly taking your set and arraigned moments
Unlike us who faithfully fail to plan the time ahead

Just before Halloween with its harvest moon
Over endless amber stubble both north and south

Almost the same moon that stood gleaming cold
Cold over last February’s heaped snow

My late start was out of the upper Missouri
Near a river bank once stacked with dead wolves and cord wood

Forcing me to chase the sun across the Hi-Line
Causing great worry even before the start

Autumn air warm with clear sunshine
Gave a false hope, un-lasting but convincing

Just until the vista of the Sweet Grass Hills
Or even the remembered flats southwest of Saco and Hinsdale

Again I fail and the sun slowly dips
Below the backbone of the world

Leaving only the dark and finally easing
My chase across the Hi-Line

* * * * * * * *

Joseph R. McGeshick was born in northeastern Montana on the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation. He grew up and attended school in Wolf Point along the upper Missouri River. On his father’s side, McGeshick is an enrolled Sokaogon Chippewa (Wisconsin) and on this mother’s side, he is both Assiniboine and Sioux (Ft. Peck). He has worked in the area of Indian education for the past thirty years as a teacher, administrator and advocate. He has taught at the high school, community college and university levels. McGeshick’s first book, a collection of poetry titled The Indian in the Liquor Cabinet, was published in 2006 and his second, Never Get Mad At Your Sweetgrass, is a collection of short stories published in 2007. He also co-authored The History of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana: 1600-2000 in 2008. McGeshick’s next work is a novel, Sister Girl, due out the fall of 2011. He lives and writes in northeastern Montana.

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