Tribal Home

The ancient daughter
Bore a fragile
Beginning, her roots
Thrust deeply below
Dirt floors, thick briar
Wild, a tangle of
Rivers refusing to rush
Into spring after spring,
The girl had to carry
A burden of water
In buckets or urns born
High on her head,
Her fine shoulders,
A spine curved already
Double before ancestral
Bones split to reveal a
Rhythm of moons
A cycle of tides,
Babies whose cries
A mother learns
To rise to every dawn.
She bends down
Toward every dusk
Arms like branches
Sweeping through wide,
Ceaseless seasons of
Circling evening as
Each child birthed
Deserves a cradle of
Willow and of leaves,
Hands clasped before
Fires against shining
Needles of rain,
The woman having
Offered up blood from
Her own vessel of a body,
Finally become grandmother
Rises, dares to invoke
Native skies forever to
Call her by name
As she treads upright
Throughout her thriving
Garden on earth,
A wilderness of honey,
Fresh country in which
All kith and kin
Join to declare and
To consecrate a whole
Nation, revered soil,
Beloved homeland, eternal
Family, pray the land
Be one everlasting
Holy ground.
(The People trace their lineage through the matriarchal line.)