it’s 1998

i have a theatre company now

i wrote a grant, three years’ worth

start up funding

then had to hire people

now have to train them

it will be a wild ride

it already is

but the drama will increase

off-stage outstrips onstage

such is arts life.

today, though, we are

at the World’s Largest Round Dance

we will perform later

now, we join the circle

we are going for a world record here

on the lawn below the legislature

in the sun, three thousand and more

clear skies, lots of room

for the guest of honour.

they have brought in an eagle

in a little eagle teepee

everyone gasps in delight

the dance circle surges tighter

and tanya and i

who will part ways in anger

stand united today

we hold the line

pull people back, root them to earth

the line sways up, we hold.

the eagle is alarmed

he has been through so much

injured, captured, rehabilitated

now he will pay his way to freedom

by carried the prayers of thousands.

the emcee speaks of the meaning of eagles

the way eagles serve to take our requests

up to the higher powers. we wonder

does this eagle know that was the deal?

he jitters in his teepee

how sure is he of his wings? what

does this feel like, the pressure of prayer

of adulating wonder, of bald curiosity

an eagle! right there! for us!

i point with my lips, tanya

sees them then too, the seagulls

floating above us. i decide

i will take them up on their obvious

offer to also take some of this love

these prayers. they are not rare

they are not listed, they are not

sought after for their feathers or fierce sight

but they are here, and they

want to know.

when the teepee is opened

and the eagle staggers out, rides

the gusting gasps in ragged spirals

up and away, the freight of any

prayers i may have is already

with those gulls, coasting in the blue.

years later, i will be repaid.

meanwhile, i will remember.

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