CROSSING THE CONTINENT IN TITLES

by Jnana Hodson

the cities, for the most part, will bear European titles

but the rivers retain the Aboriginal
imprint, flowing

Penobscot, Kennebec, Piscataqua, Merrimack, Connecticut

Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, Shenandoah

Allegheny, Monogohela, Ohio, Tennesee, Kentucky

Little and Great Miami, Wabash, Maumee, Sandusky, Cayahoga

Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Yakima

and the lakes

Sebago, Winnipesaukee
Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida
Ontario, Erie, Huron

and somewhere, in a reversal, the cities begin to carry

the native addresses

Pontiac, Chicago, Topeka
Missoula, Boise
Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla

while the rivers assume European monikers

Columbia, Colorado, the Platte, San Juan, even the Snake

in all the encounter
and conquest

as if the ebb and flow
had ever been that equal

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