Downhill White Supremacists March on Sacramento: A Poem

Tess Taylor reflects on a painful past in this poem from her forthcoming collection, Rift Zone.

poet tess taylor is the author of several acclaimed collections of poetry, including rift zone
Poet Tess Taylor is the author of several acclaimed collections of poetry, including Rift Zone.
ADRIANNE MATHIOWET

High in the Sierra
green summer aspen

whisper to the lake.
The snowpack glitters.

Over the passes
Winnebago thunder

   out of the wide red flats of Nevada.

Huge crooked knuckles,
the dark screes loom.

Deep in the roadbeds,
the bones of the Irish

& Chinese workers
whose lives were pitted

against one another
to drive down & down

the price of their labor
—who shattered their bodies

   dynamiting these crossings—

blaze in their graves.

From Rift Zone by Tess Taylor, forthcoming from Red Hen Press.

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