The 2River View 16.1 ( 2011)

Aw-o-tan Nisgah

bringing in the night

her song calls the night in,
and the sky hesitates between light
and dark: my indecision blinking
like a star caught between
grandfather sun, grandmother moon,
and lonesome, lonesome in the black
that robes my minute light—but how
could I know the loneliness of a star?
all that distance, all that space, all that
I am is a being on the face of the mother
who bore us all; now look at her sweat,
feel her fever rising with her temper,
as if she, too, wishes upon a star to be
one, to nova and be done with these
trampling feet, tight-toed and wrapped
like tobacco offerings for the chief
industries that we clasp hands
with as in marriage, as she will clasp
my arm, and I, alone in the night,
listening to the sprinklers, imagining
how each drop of water must feel
amongst so many, all plunging
like buffalo off a cliff, and yet each
so willingly plunges to its singular
death—so alone, so tired, so thirsty
for all the light it will never have
a chance to drink

Aw-o-tan Nisgah (Shield Little Brother) belongs to the Many Faces People, a family following the Blackfoot tradition in East Texas. His poetry has appeared in Barnwood and Willows Wept Review. contact