Wood With Rabbit

married at the scar, two salve trees
lean against each other, how we all
learn to walk, watching feet
trusting heads to sky

silver leaves tip up for rain and
beneath them, small boy
rabbit frozen in prayer, down
among fireweed, wild rose and stalks
of tiger lily, velvet footed indian paintbrushes

is that where we went? when those who came
stopped respecting our mother, crying witchcraft
tigers and indians gone into flower colours

old people tender mauve, flame, rose
under silver, bending over
rabbit at prayer, at need
to become only his tail
the light
floss of wildflower seed
head to sky, trusting.

This poem in particular brings home to me how much the cultural landscape has changed.  I think we may have beaten to death the hideous trope of the ‘dying indian,’ and begun to make manifest other choices we can make, in terms of destiny.

Here’s the 2009 version from Fifth World Drum (Frontenac House).

here silver leaves tip for rain
married at the scar
two salve trees
lean against each other
how we all learn to walk
well-tuned rocks smoothing feet
my feet, i find i watch them
trusting my head to the sky

wind carries over before we see it
small boy rabbit frozen in prayer
beneath
indian paintbrushes — what a name —
never have seen brown artists paint with them
still. tiger lilies don’t have tigers

then again, is that where we went?
when those who came stopped respecting
our mother
tigers and indians gone into flower colours

old people young people mauve and rose
flaming wildflowers
bending over rabbit at prayer
at need
to become only his tail
the light
floss of dandelions
uncatchable.

Image is from Pixabay.com user Naster.

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