Saturday, June 6, 2009

You broke my arrow

You broke my arrow.
I crouched over the cedar stem,
Whittling it between my palms.
We sat under its craggy cover till dusk,
Until the mosquitoes drove us home.
I can still thumb the callouses on their plump crest.

You took my hand.
I ran with you to the porch,
Clutching your fingers with enthusiastic distress.
We kissed briefly under the cool moon,
Until your mother called you away.
I can still taste the honeysuckle salt on your lips.

You found my feather.
I slit the cedar with your army knife,
Latching the abandoned goose down with my shoelaces.
We scoured the woods for an arrowhead,
Until you scavenged through the sacred Hopi graves.
I can still tremble in reverie of that trespass.

You made my bow.
I stole the fishing line from Father's tackle,
Hoping you had remembered to temper the bamboo.
We returned to our cedar but I missed the target,
Until you guided my arm assuring stillness in my ear.
I can still feel the gentle heat of your breath.

You mocked my aim.
I kept snapping my finger in the line,
Veering the arrow off course into the brush.
We played for hours in the brazen midday sun,
Until my arrow finally landed in the tree of my youth.
I can still see your blood on my little hands.

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