—D.R. Wagner, Locke
I am no longer North, although my blood
Still comes to freezing when I think of ships
Bound by the ice and crushed like thoughts
On paper, abandoned on some sea that never
Had a name.
I am compelled to stare across the distances,
Full of alarm at the winds that have become
My breath, no longer able to carry words,
Yet afraid to not speak when the Aurora Borealis
Sits square behind my eyes and I retain the gift
To see deep into the souls of those who claim
A special knowledge of where the ark might
Have landed or of which great lakes might contain
The grandfather of the fishes who can still speak
The language of the land.
I have held the braids of trinkets from the time
When shells and bright bird feathers were woven
Into baskets finer than the thoughts of great chieftains.
I recall the prayers to corn and fields of grain
That they be full and rich and able to bear us
Through the throat of the Winter, when the snow
Is deep upon the ground and the eye of the hare
Is the only black in such a great surround.
I am no longer North, so now I may bid you come
To me and I will tell of many things—of magic
Long forgotten, of tall spirits who once roamed
These same lands through forests older now
Than memory. Those who once had eyes
To see past the morning and who could reflect
The sun as if they were the water that made all
Of man and animal what they were when first they came
Upon this land, when first they walked into this valley,
When first they called a name to God.