Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Memories: Each Day Radiant with New Meaning

Four mothers and two sisters
lost among us this past twelve-month.
We honored them in ceremony at the sulfur caves.
The eagle of the North keeping the vision.
The mouse of the South
scurrying close to the ground, carrying the details.
Beginnings in the East.
Endings and apparent endings in the West.
Washing our hands from the African calabash.
Watering Meg's shrine among the oak roots.
The moss springing instantly from brown to green.

Annelle fixed my cobra squirt gun
(years of Mommy-training, she said)
so that plastic-striped snake could wash away our
words spoken that became venom.
We doused for water with my clay rods.
They never fail when used beside a body of water.
The Water of Life is all around us and inside us, after all.

My clay scepter passed from hand to hand as the talking stick.
Stories spoken around the Water Banner we swayed with in the stream.
Then, food, pictures, and poems on the lawn.
Gifts from the gift blanket.
Good-bye for now.

A month later, Melissa called in the directions
once more and asks Grandmother to bless us
on the same creek shores.
The water that much lower.
The ceremony officially closed.

§ When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again§

Creating the Water Ceremony helped me last year because it told me I was not alone in my loss. I was not the only one who had lost someone dear to me. How could I be? This is the way of the world. I did not have to be alone in remembering the loss of my sister. I did not have to bear that weight, that burden alone. Because I had sisters here, swaying around the Water Banner with me—sisters I’d acquired and earned rather than a sister whose bloodline I shared. This event becomes a new memory in the story of the “Anniversary” poem. It is a turning point for me and for the poem as I receive some genuine condolence in the comfort of the creek and the companionship of our circle of bereaved sisterhood.

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