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.