Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stormy Saturday Morning

Painting by Larry Carlson

Stormy Saturday Morning

And the bird people sing anyway.
Their calls are like splashed water beset by wind.
Now if my soul could remember how to negotiate
The foolishness of Can’t, we could sing in any kind of weather.
And forget the sadness, or be it.
Build a house with the wreckage of fury.
Start all over again no matter shots in the dark from words
or guns.

Yesterday is only memory anyway, made into the stuff
of our reaction.
I was afraid, so I killed my neighbor with
a machete.
I was angry, so I ignored the tower of gifts
clamoring to give joy.
I was vengeful so I burned down the house to keep anyone
else from having it.
I was jealous so I lied to the tribal council and got more
than one share.

Last night on the television a newborn thrown in the road
kicked his legs for more life as his mouth sucked the air
for mother.
This morning I’m exhausted with the human struggle
As these bird people must be.
They sing anyway, craft memory into memory.
So I’ll take it from here,
And start all over again with the story,
Sing it with a human twist.
A bright wretchedness, a little joy.

c Joy Harjo 2/12/05 Honolulu

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