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The War Zone By Joy Harjo

March 12, 2000

Yesterday in the flare of smoke and temper--

we were brilliant warriors weary

from battling each other--

the illuminations of family ghosts

bright red in the storm.

The century is swept toward an inevitable end--

as summer trees sway beneath thunderclouds,

the wind flattening our faces--

Our teeth make refuge for our tongues,

skins pulled tight in the vertigo of fear

under unbearable

pressure.

We go on.

*

From "A Map To the Next World" by Joy Harjo (W.W. Norton: 142 pp., $22.95)

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