Split Mountain

In the spirit of Edgar Lee Masters’ “The Hill”.

Riverside Cemetery abides on a bluff

Where God’s stone split Cedar from Rattlesnake Mountain,

unleashing Colter’s Hell.

Where are Ned, Dick, Jess, Sam, Chet and Sam Junior:

Grizzly fighter, director, taxidermist, exile, dreamer, thief.

All, all sleep watching split mountain.

First guided dudes,

Second built museums,

Third framed game,

Fourth drank too often,

Fifth lost on the road,

Last stole from his father –

All, all sleep watching, watching split mountain.

Where are Mary, Elizabeth, Polly, Kathryn, Aleene, and Marilyn:

Helpmate, drinker, artist, mother, follower, enabler.

All, all sleep watching split mountain.

First supported her man,

Second linked clans,

Third painted the West,

Fourth christened her warriors,

Fifth pined for the East,

Last cooked the books –

All, all are watching, watching split mountain.

Where is the son from the East,

Who never came home,

Who saw clans break over money not love.

The river is dammed, the Hell has gone out,

The clans sit alone, below split mountain.

When God splits mountains,

What can men do against hate.

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