"Sweetgrass Elegy: Oral Tradition in Verse" by Rich Rodgers
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Sweetgrass Elegy: Oral Tradition in Verse

(Blood Reserve, Alberta)

A plane passes over the open prairie
Where two wild dogs are running near
My grandmother's grave where a sepia
Photograph of her in youth softy fades
Brighter and brighter into the sunlight—

Nearby and the only water for miles,
A shallow pond flashes with the morning
Sun in the shapes of countless stars
And within my own gaze a reflection
Containing the passing clouds above me,

And upon the landscape like sky where
Shouts go without echo the grasses are
Sun-dried and wind kissed in a yellow-gold
Awaiting the early season's very first snow,

August light gives to September's darkness.
Grief is nothing more than an autumn
Memory of wandering in the natural light,
For which change can only be seen in
The turning colors and branches gone bare,

All lives and loves come to an end the same
Way seasons and horizons pass us all by:
Into the smoke and light of our memories.

Biography
Rich Rodgers is a Blackfoot (Kainai) poet from and currently living in
Calgary, Canada. His poems tend to speak to the nature of longing,
dreams, memory and contemporary Indigenous identity. He is currently
compiling a collection of new poems entitled,
Trying to Kiss the Moon.

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Previously published in Calgary Poetry Magazine:
"Rowing Across the North Atlantic" by Barbara E. Hunt

Published December 16, 2019

First Place: Poets of Western Canada Contest #1

Sweetgrass Elegy: Oral Tradition in Verse

by Rich Rodgers
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Calgary Poetry Magazine: www.calgarypoetrymagazine.com - Image shows a leafy branch reaching out into the sunlight; autumn colours.
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Calgary Poetry Magazine: www.calgarypoetrymagazine.com - Image shows a leafy branch reaching out into the sunlight; autumn colours.