Mississippian

Birdman Tablet replica

he writes on a tablet

bright white

rhythmically tapping out

deep thoughts on anthropomorphism

a birdman tablet carved into shell

by a native ancestor

he emulates

although the people became extinct

before his European ancestors

washed ashore

he ponders a metal plate

a mandala like the ones he saw

in South America

but in the center, a hamsa

the open hand, the evil eye

the same protective symbol

he saw in North Africa

if we are all connected

why do we fight

why are the treasures unearthed

from burial mounds

secreting bodies

sacrificed to war

annihilated

along with the culture

mysteriously abandoned

vanished

except for the tradition

of violent death

the one tradition we kept

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