Under A Miccosukee Sky
Big Cypress stirs, heated by Miccosukee
sky hung in spun gold. Rising in the east,
morning sways with waves of river grass
as the elder paddles through waking water
in dugout canoe. Bare-chested, he whistles
an old, creek song, lost and found in tangles
of green swampland. Bronzed face chiseled from
stone gazes on soft, flush of Indian summer;
a burning heart beats with nature beneath.
In hand, he clenches twine of sacred bundle.
Beads of sweat fall from head lowered in prayer
to the Creator. His silent prayer for earth, hunt,
harvest and tradition collides with modern tribal
life, a quiet moment complicated by thoughts of
upcoming ceremonial festivities. If only,
he could step back in time to dance in ancient
garments 'round sacred fire free from tourists’ pale,
intruding eyes. His daughter and wife will sew
and bead jewelry to sell; his grandsons will wrestle
alligators; and he, the elder, will stand proud,
fighting to maintain dignity and culture under
a warm Miccosukee sky, hung by his ancestors
...in spun gold.
By Rhonda Johnson-Saunders, 11/17/13
for Shanity Rain's Native American People Contest
Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders | Year Posted 2013
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