Warding Off

Signs for the leap 
of a river         or the skirt of a hill

Spoor of an animal
gilding             a lightning trail

The hour of night when an old moon  
shakes her abundance            of silver

The way grasses weave 
loomed garments through     the valley

We could go back
to the old names    that were not names

according to those 
who                 called us other names

They hid us from us our gods
and                  ancestors

Our dead never leave the soft 
caves             of their burial but know

how to plant quartz
seeds and patiently          tap 

the soot-laden thorn
that ripples                   our skin

So are we marked
as we go                       armed with brass bells          

Not orphaned 
Only set adrift           in a bounded world             


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