Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sandra Johnson, "Makah Indians"

We sprang from salt water
     A meeting of waves.
Our men hollowed
from logs
     with the bone of whale
and together rose
     as one
but were many
giving thanks to the sea.
With a song
            we were born
     startling the birds
            into flight
while the seagulls
     circling the air
            and following
     the strain of our paddles
            moving us
     toward land.

Now our men
     keep returning to the sea
filled with the rhythm
            of salmon
fishing a strange beauty
            through dark waters
as silver fins
            leap wildly over death
seeking the savage moment
            that saves
the young.
            Our people will not die.

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