Grave of the Twelve-Year-Old Pequot Girl

by Sarah Sousa

1. Unearthing

Small as a tablespoon, her medicine
pouch holds the fragment of a psalm sing
unto the lord a new song and strands
of black European cloth, pseudomorphs
of paper and cloth: transformed to iron
salts where they touched an iron ladle.
We study the brittle bible for clues,
finger the brittle cloth. The left forepaw of a bear
nestled into the cave of her belly
still sleeps there.

2. Interring

he hath done marvelous things. The English
carry the little bound book at their hips,
the ant-letters’ magic keeps them well
while whole tribes fall like grass
at hard frost, like shed antlers.
His right hand and his holy arm
(imagine the great arc of his holy arm)
hath gotten him the victory.
We give her our strongest medicine.
We give her their strongest medicine.

Last updated June 20, 2019