book cover illustration for Melissa Kwasny

“Miracle of the Pitanga Tree” illustrates the cover of poet Melissa Kwasny’s new book, Reading Novalis in Montana, from Milkweed Editions.

“…Not quite a hundred years ago, in the hills
outside a western town named Helena, a band of Cree
were camped. While the men prayed and fasted
over the ridge, the women waited with their children
by the water. The cavalry came and massacred them.
But there is a part of the story I have only recently
learned, that when the women saw the soldiers coming,
their spirits fled into these rocks.
Today, potatoes and squash break the horizon of our soil.
Who believes enough to have a vision now?”

– exerpt from the poem The Waterfall by Melissa Kwansy