Today's poem is by John E. Smelcer

So Begins The Lasting Silence

There is no doubt
I will be the last speaker
of our dying language.

I will know
that day has come
when I call out
across the frozen river
from our village
to the far white mountain
in my Native tongue
and wait forever
for an echo
that will not return—

the far white mountain
having forgotten its Indian name.

Copyright © 2003 John E. Smelcer All rights reserved
from Kenyon Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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