American History

American History

The tapestry must be frailed
if it is to survive, flipped over

to expose frayed threads and skipped stitches,
a patchwork of wars and erasures caught

in the act of re-membering
families and cities. The loom swoops

onward, mapping forgotten constellations,
the bodies of murdered women,

missing children, rosaries scattered
across the desert floor like broken stars.

The ancient contest calls for who
can spin the better story, tragic enough

to make the gods weep and repent,
a gnashing of teeth as the weave

is finally shredded, torn from our
fingers still pricked with blood.


Photo Credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

About the author

Nancy Hightower

Nancy Hightower has been published in Word Riot, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Spry, Entropy, Sundog Lit, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poetry, The Acolyte, was published by Port Yonder Press in 2015 and this April she was granted a micro-residency at the Strand Bookstore by The Poetry Society of New York as part of their joint Poet-A-Day Project. She currently teaches at Hunter College and is working on a memoir about growing up in the evangelical South.