state natural area poems, supplementum #13: indian mound park, sheboygan a, b, & c


piercers of sky,

hoary beeches

leaves on the mounds


ten-thousand years

of peat and water building

purple cress is sleeping


ostrich fern

and skunk cabbage

ahead of snow

Indian Mound Park in Sheboygan is a great sign of Wisconsin’s conflicted history. It is a treasure for how in 1966 the Sheboygan Garden Clubs saved the large group of effigy, conical, and linear mounds built here by Middle and Late Woodland indigenous inhabitants of Wisconsin (ca. 200 BCE-1000 CE). However, of course, the mounds would not have needed saving if the land hadn’t been ceded by local tribes thru dubious treaties long before. Nonetheless, I am supremely glad they remain here, along with the wetland downslope from the mounds (thru which runs Hartman Creek) and the very old beech trees thru-out the park. It is a tremendous place. Deer and water panther mounds—a real grace to visit on Thanksgiving. (If you’d like more on my perspective on the mounds, you can read that here.)

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