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The Prophet Rises

June 7, 1889

The smoking signal of disaster
Is blanketing the sky and makes
Its message known: the cracked pilaster
And crumbled tombs on Blake’s
Discovered island rumble thunder –
The earth, a curtain, slips from under
The waking ghost of Chief Sealth
Upon the dawn, his day of death,
The seventh day of June, some twenty
And three Duwamish seasons dead,
Has raised a hand above a head
Still crowned in clouds of silver, flinty
As words that sparks his tongue to speak
And cut through smoke on mountain’s peak.