Karen M. Rice


Beloved Wichita’s, your granite bones lay scattered on the plains
like the spine of an ancient dinosaur.

Your peaks were once mighty, higher than the Rockies,
but those ancient robber barons – wind, water, and time –
have stolen your greatness, taken it to the sea.

Ghosts of the past walk the jack oaks that carpet your shoulders.
Ghosts of pioneers and soldiers don’t linger,
but native spirits still walk along with the spirits of buffalo, elk, bear, and puma.
The spirit of eagle soars over them all, guarding, watching.

Beloved Wichita’s, slumber on, your greatness gone,
but your soul still strong.

Karen M. Rice: Ancient Pathways
Elk Herd in the Wichita Mountains by Barbara Vaupel

IWVPA Club Recognition of Outstanding Non-War Related Writing: May 22, 2007
Awarded: May 22, 2007