As Tradition Goes Up in Smoke

by Will Falk

When the frost of ancestral protection
vanishes with rising temperatures
and minds grow soft with amnesia,
they come in heavy trucks
to mine memories and steal stories.

Glaciers remain, for now,
wavering, with teardrops melting from their faces,
as tradition goes up in smoke.

Tall pines huddle together to share their secrets
before the tornadoes strike.
Eagles, crowned gold or white, float on the future,
interceding with the Creator,
begging blessings for us from on high.

The air is full of a winter’s anger.
North winds blow resolve.
Clouds try to freeze themselves,
fall to Earth, and pack themselves as snow.

It’s not until we face the trucks
that the Creator notices the eagles,
and She rises from the union
of icy rain on sage.

With drum in hand and magic in her throat,
She is silhouetted, before dawn,
against a red warning sky.

Strong, dark, and tall
her raven hair flutters with whispers
and the ecstasy of southbound geese in flight.
She is a shining morning star
guarding the wonders of night
from the conquering electric lights.

Her song freezes our muddy memories.
The glaciers smile. The eagles rest. The trees relax.

And, the miners’ shovels snap and crack.