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The greatest people, the greatest nation

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From 900 BC until 1200 AD a larger human population thrived in western New Mexico, eastern Arizona, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah and the adjoining geography in northern Mexico than lives there today.  They're known by many names.  The Anasazi (ancient ones) describes them as well as any other.

This was a civilization of builders, farmers, slave-holders, craftsmen and fighters.  Any visitor to the land they occupied is likely to discover their ruins, potsherds, artifiacts in some unexpected place.

Around 1125 AD they fought a bloody civil war.  Shortly thereafter,  they vanished entirely, possibly migrating to Mexico to become the Aztecs.

We can only speculate who these people were.  Only their ruins and broken artifacts testify to what they believed, how they lived, why they fought their civil war, and why they packed up one day to go elsewhere.

They probably resembled us in believing they were the greatest people of the greatest nation and nothing like them ever was.

 

No one remembers anyone
Who remembers anyone
Who remembers
Why she died
But there she is
 
Wealthy woman young
No slave.
Those killers
Didn't kill the slaves
Took them away squat beneath
The loot the weight of
What they carried off
As they did before for her
Before emancipation
 
Arroyo cut through ruin
Showed her to the wind and sky
And me a thousand years
After noise and smoke
Stone hatchet to the head
She died and partly burned
 
A long forgotten civil war
Between someone
And someone else
No one remembers
Over something
Neither wind nor sun
Nor these charred bones
Remember

 

From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

 

Entry #175

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