Fallen Mother of Acorns,
Goddess to Squirrels
For spacious skies
Standing to sing through the tears in my eyes
a naked Indian among the lipstick
and neckties of the congregation,
I remember the stars fell like leaves above my mountain
the night I fasted, and firelight leapt
in the eyes of warriors when I sang to them.
The earth is beaten down
with dancing, in the blurred air
I hear drums—
God shed his grace
My blood is pulsing
through a stained light as we sing "Amen!"
and settle in our pews.
Gripping the smooth scrolled wood
so tightly in both hands that I have to shut my eyes,
suddenly I recognize the grain:
the tree I touched and grieved that night
I saw the lights of towns
burning up and down the valley
and found my song.