Old Ones, bones now, turned to stone
with the muck that covered them, chiseled loose
and reassembled, held in place by wire
in supposed poses while scholars debate whether they stood
upright or on all fours.
A poet studies glyphs carved into stones.
Here may be the answer to lost art, words of power,
words before words were worn thin, when
all the world, animals, trees, sky, water,
even stones were alive with spirits
which would answer to such power as words held.
In a wooded ravine near Heavener, Oklahoma
there is a stone carved with Nordic runes:
which is believed to mean Glome's Valley.
A property marker
estimated pre-Columbian though none can explain.
Picture now, Vikings, in longships sailing
up the Mississippi, up the Arkansas, up the Poteau.
Months of voyage into unknown
waters, lands, storms, hunger, disease, and hostile natives
to reach raw wilderness and struggle anew to tame one valley
recorded in two words unread for centuries.
Ages from now,
archaeologists may uncover a cryptic note
passed in a sixth grade study hall
and never know the all consuming importance
of whether Mary Ellen what's-her-name
checked "Es-yay" or "O-nay."