The river valleys – Missouri, Ohio,
Illinois, Mississippi – are thronged
with prehistoric earthen mounds. Monks’ Mound
was lived on briefly by Trappists, hence
its English soubriquet. The city
of Cahokia – the name means ‘Wild Geese’ –
was six miles square, had more than eighty mounds.
At its thirteenth century zenith,
it was as populous as any city
in the then contemporary Europe.
The Trinculos and Stephanos came:
mockers and con men – drunken, violent,
slaughtering bison, fencing the prairie –
satraps of Washington and the railways,