Issue 11 | Summer 2012

Finding Hiawatha

Highway 18 runs past the Canton grain elevators
to Hiawatha Golf Club where the restrooms
read: “Braves” and “Squaws.”
Mid-fairway lies a graveyard—fenced—
sunken remains of 120 men and women who died
at Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians.
The city bought the old Asylum grounds
with stipulated “recreational use.” No mention
of sacred ground on these soft Coteau des Prairies.

A faded prayer flag flutters in the wind.
Near the small burial plot a sign reads:
“Please do not play balls from the rough,”
A monument lists names of the dead:
Blue Sky, Long Time Owl Woman,
Yells at Night, Red Crow,
James Crow Lightning, Edith Standing Bear.
The golfers play through without a glance.

Filed under: Poetry