(people related through common possession of territory)
by Joan Kane
The enemy misled that missed the island in the fog,
I believe in one or the other, but both exist now
to confuse me. Dark from dark.
Snow from snow. I believe in one--
Craggy boundary, knife blade at the throat's
From time to time the sound of voices
as through sun-singed grass,
or grasses that we used to insulate the walls of our
walrus hides lashed together with rawhide cords.
So warm within the willows ingathered forced into leaf.
I am named for your sister Naviyuk: call me apoŋ.
Surely there are ghosts here, my children sprung
from these deeper furrows.
The sky of my mind against which self-
betrayal in its sudden burn
fails to describe the world.
We, who denied the landscape
and saw the light of it.
Leaning against the stone wall ragged
I began to accept my past and, as I accepted it,
I felt, and I didn't understand:
I am bound to everyone.
|Copyright � 2013 by Joan Kane. Used with permission of the author.|
|This week, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Arthur Sze serves as guest editor for the Poem-A-Day series.|