Our Lady of the Ozarks

Our Lady of the Ozarks

our lady of the ozarks drifts
in white-blue robes, on morning air
dark eyes shining.

our lady quiet as the hills
anticipating rain, sits
part eurowoman, part indian
at her crackling fire,
young rabbit on the spit.

no hillbilly she, no granny.
mindful of the raucous joy, she
pitches her pipe to the whippoorwhill
the moon rising on running water.

our lady of the ozarks
wraith woman of the springs
sends blessings from the water cress
sun splashes everything.

for the red granite she grows a green blanket
from the hardscrabble corn she pours fire
banshee and priestess, mother and maiden
her countenance shifts like mid-July clouds
grown fluffy, then dark--
thunder rolling, rocks rumbling
in the wake of a wildcat's foot.

we needn't build you a pedestal, lady
you would never stay put--
there is no need to worship you
in the hollows which you haunt--
our lady of the ozarks
a glimpse of your brownblue endurance
is reward enough.

Copyright 1998 Jo Schaper

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