War and History Poetry posted May 8, 2020 Chapters:  ...68 69 -70- 71... 

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A chapter in the book Minnesota Poems

Minnesota Woman

by Treischel

When they ran across her, literally,
while grading the new highway 59,
in 1931 the working crew
had spread her ancient bones supine
aside, to continue down the valley
leaving her for the experts to pursue
the detailed origins of place and time.

Of her significance, they never knew
that those remains in agitated ground,
those archaic remnants, changed history.
This tiny female shifted the world's view
when scientific carbon dating found
a strange eight thousand year old mystery.
This new discovery was most profound.

She wore a necklace made of conch sea shells,
and carried dagger carved of antler bone.
At age sixteen she met some strange demise.
From boat? Through ice? It seems she drowned alone.
Though dry land now, it once had glacial swells.
The sediment that covered her lengthwise
had shells and silt depicting seabed zone.`

She never had a chance of bearing children.
She died in times before the Pharaohs ruled.
This Paleo-Indian, discovered
among the oldest found, was ridiculed
'til proven by scientific brethren -
Professor Albert Jenks who recovered
through tests, her historical acumen.

Four thousand years beyond what was believed,
the oldest bones found in America
once walked across the land-bridged Bering Sea
confounding lettered esoterica
to hunt the herds tribal pictographs leave
on cliffs and cave walls. Left for all to see
images in artistic replica.

Near Pelican Rapids there stands her monument.
It sits beside North Highway 59,
commemorating "Lady of the Lake."
Stone plaque atop a simple granite shrine,
with words that give a basic testament
to Minnesota Woman's last mistake
that left her bones a famous storyline.

This 8000 year old woman's bones were found in northwestern Minnesota in 1931
by a road crew that set the bones aside and continued on grading Highway 59 North, near Pelican Rapids. The roadside monument stands near where the bones were found. The remains were found the next day by a supervisor. Her bones were sent to the University of Minnesota, and evaluated by Dr. Albert Jenks. In 1976, her bones were given to the Sioux tribe, who reburied them in an undisclosed grave in South Dakota. She was among the oldest remains ever found in North America. For more on her story, here are a couple of links:



This poem is a series of septets. It is done in 10 syllable mixed meter, with a rhyme scheme of: abcbacb.

The image is a photo of the monument.
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