Tuesday, January 13, 2009
by Joy Harjo
for Lurline McGregor
Ah, ah cries the crow arching toward the heavy sky over the marina.
Lands on the crown of the palm tree.
Ah, ah slaps the urgent cove of ocean swimming through the slips.
We carry canoes to the edge of the salt.
Ah, ah groans the crew with the weight, the winds cutting skin.
We claim our seats. Pelicans perch in the draft for fish.
Ah, ah beats our lungs and we are racing into the waves.
Though there are worlds below us and above us,
we are straight ahead.
Ah, ah tatttoos the engines of your plane against the sky—
away from these waters.
Each paddle stroke follows the curve from reach to loss.
Ah, ah calls the sun from a fishing boat with a pale, yellow sail.
We fly by on our return,
over the net of eternity thrown out for stars.
Ah, ah scrapes the hull of my soul. Ah, ah.
"Ah, Ah" from How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems:1975-2001 by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 2002 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., www.wwnorton.com.
Source: How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems: 1975-2001 (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2002).