Monday, February 25, 2013

The Shaman's Daughter, Finding Her Way

The shaman's daughter by Gwendrina

It was nearly Spring
when twilight’s wind shook the song
of leaves and river sand
through Wahaya’s bones.

I felt the wolf’s spirit
run over my boots
as if water were drifting in cool silver
toward the woodland shore.

There, I found her lying
half-curled in death
like a moon in Winter’s shadow.

For days, I nurtured her.
My novice hands tending
wounds with dressings soft
as breath that rose from the mountain’s lung.

She healed and led me through the hollow land
of rock and saltbrush— footsteps
kept stomping behind a long shirt of clouds.
Ancestors danced or thunder echoed
the shortening distance.

We came home and found my tribe whispering
slow and mysterious in the way
wood smoke hems the forest floor.
A prayer of delivrance-- while she faded
into the color of birch trees.

The sun sunken low, lingering
on my boot strings
that had slowly come untied.

Notes -- Wahaya is the Cherokee word for wolf, sometimes referred to as the "She wolf".

The Indian painting is by artist. Susan Seddon Boulet.

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